Blackwater Used Shell Companies to Get Contracts It set up 30 firms after Iraqi trouble By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Sep 4, 2010 9:51 AM CDT 23 comments Comments A 2007 file photo of Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince. (AP Photos/Susan Walsh, File) (Newser) – When Blackwater got into trouble in Iraq for general thuggery and lost lucrative contracts, it came up with an easy solution: It put on a fake nose and mustache and kept right on collecting government money under different names. In another damning piece about the contractor everyone loves to hate, the New York Times explains how Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, set up 30 or so shell companies to score millions of dollars in contracts. It's worth “looking into why Blackwater would need to create the dozens of other names,” says Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee. He wants the Justice Department to look into whether Blackwater officials misled the government while soliciting contracts for the subsidiaries.