Here’s a subject that didn’t come up in the final debate of the presidential election – Vice President Joe Biden’s ties to a contracting firm that has a sweet contract to help re-build Iraq, even though said company had no track record before landing the lucrative contract.
David Richter, the president of Hill International (HIL), a mid-sized outfit that manages construction projects, was speaking last year at a private meeting with investors when he was asked about the recent success of his newest subsidiary, HillStone International.
How was it that HillStone, a newcomer in the business of home building, landed a massive and potentially lucrative contract to build 100,000 homes in war-torn Iraq?
Richter didn’t mince words. It really helps, he said, to have “the brother of the vice president as a partner,” according to a person who was present.
The “brother” Richter was referring to during the meeting is James Biden, the younger brother of Vice President Joe Biden.
Since November 2010, James Biden has been the executive vice president of Hill International’s housing subsidiary despite little if any documented work history in residential construction. And if the company’s projections are accurate, both Hill and Biden are on the verge of a huge payday, beneficiaries, some analysts believe, of James Biden’s connections to the Obama Administration through his older brother.
Indeed, the Iraq project may be the most lucrative single development in Hill’s history. Since 2011, Hill, located in Marlton, NJ., has been losing money; the shares were recently trading at $3.82, down about 28% this year on New York Stock Exchange trading.
Read on, my friends, and tell me if you know anyone who runs a new business that could secure a contract like this if they didn’t have friends or relatives in high places.
Here’s the video report:
I have to say, I feel bad for the Iraqis who are having their houses built by these inexperienced builders. As the wife and business partner of a contractor, I can tell you that they are most likely in for a world of problems in the future. But there’s no doubt that this company will be out of Iraq before all of the problems start showing up. Oh, and no, I am not going to suggest that Mr. LC start a home repair business in Iraq.