Erik Dean Prince (born June 6, 1969) is an American businessman and the founder of the private military corporation Blackwater USA. He is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer. He was the CEO of Blackwater until 2009, and then the chairman until the company was sold to a group of investors in 2010.
Prince is the founder of the Frontier Resource Group, a private equity business, and was the chairman of the Frontier Services Group, a Hong Kong-listed company, until 2021. Prince is the brother of former US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the son of an engineer and businessman Edgar Prince.
Erik Prince Bio/Wiki
|Real Name||Erik Dean Prince|
|Age||54 years (as of 2023)|
|Date Of Birth||June 6, 1969|
|Birth Place||Holland, Michigan|
|School||United States Naval Academy,|
|Estimated Net Worth in 2023 (Approx)||$2.5 billion|
|Estimated Net Worth in 2022 (Approx)||$2 billion|
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Erik Prince Early Life
Prince was born on June 6, 1969, in Holland, Michigan, the youngest of four children of Edgar D. Prince and his wife, Elsa (Zwiep). He attended Holland Christian High School and graduated with honours.
The Prince and his father went on a globe trip together, seeing the Dachau concentration camp in Germany, divided Berlin, and the Normandy battlefields. These travels “made a great effect” on the young Prince, according to his mother.
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From a personal standpoint, Erik Prince’s life has been sad. Despite the fact that he grew up in a privileged household and never had to worry about money, he did have to cope with some devastating personal losses. Edgar Prince, Eric’s father, died in 1995, at the age of 64, from a heart problem, while Eric was just 26 years old.
Losing a parent at a young age is terrible for everyone, but it was especially painful for him since his grandpa, Peter Prince, died of a heart illness when he was only 36 years old in 1943 when his father Edgar was only 11 years old. Eric, in other words, had to be concerned for his own lifespan.
In addition to the aforementioned terrible past, Erik had to deal with the early death of his first wife Joan, who died of breast cancer at a young age in 2003. Erik was left with four small children after Joan died. He found a willing spouse to assist him to raise his four small toddlers, which was fortunate for him and his four young children.
In 2004,he married Joanne Houck, his second wife. He had three more children with her as of 2011. We’ll now turn our attention to Prince’s role with the Blackwater Corporation, which he started and grew into a major supplier of security troops for the US government’s protection of federal employees living in or visiting Iraq during the Iraq conflict.
Erik had served as a seal in the US Navy, and he believed that the US Armed Services needed access to private security forces to assist them in the protection of its personnel and assets, based on his own experience as a seal and the attack of the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen. As a result, he established the Blackwater Corporation to supply these services.
Erik is a practising Catholic, having converted in 1992. Prince was able to get a contract to provide security for the US Department of State in Iraq after establishing Blackwater Corporation. The State Department has had a significant presence in Iraq, and ensuring security for State Department personnel was a must. Using the US Armed Forces for such a mission would have been far too inefficient and costly.
Blackwater was only one of many security firms hired by the US government to work in Iraq. The enormity of Blackwater made it stand out. It was big, and it provided security for a high-profile group of people: State Department workers. Furthermore, Blackwater has a solid reputation for providing constant protection in extremely perilous situations.
This usually necessitated the use of aggressive tactics. And it was the harsh tactics that were publicised in the media that generated issues for Blackwater. The fact that Blackwater had a track record of not losing any of the persons it was supposed to protect isn’t acknowledged.
In other words, the State Department or the personnel it was supposed to protect never complained about Blackwater. The above likely sums up the Blackwater Corporation’s operations. The firm was engaged in a very public activity: the protection of unarmed people in a dangerous area.
The corporation was likewise enormous, with almost all of its income coming from the US government, or rather, the taxpayer. And, while its mission was successful in defending unarmed people, it usually needed controversial techniques. Erik Prince, the company’s chairman and sole owner, chose to rename it the XE Corporation at some point in 2010.
In 2011, Prince opted to separate himself from the firm by selling it, however, it does not appear that he has totally broken connections with it. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was looking into Erik Prince’s suspected role in the attempted transfer of Jordanian armaments to the UAE-backed Khalifa Haftar as part of the 2019 plot.
According to previous investigations, Prince and others broke the Libyan arms embargo. According to sources, Prince cooperated with Feisal ibn al-Hussein, a Jordanian prince, to orchestrate the sale and transport of aeroplanes and other equipment from Jordan to Libya. Christiaan Durrant, a Prince associate and an Australian pilot, tried to reassure Jordanian officials that he had “clearances from everywhere” and that the job had been approved “at the highest level.”
However, after Jordan rejected the agreement, Prince convened a meeting at the Army and Navy Club in the United States. The meeting, which was also attended by Durrant and a member of Donald Trump’s National Security Council, had an agenda in which Durrant detailed Prince’s Libyan effort to back Haftar to the NSC official and requested US cooperation.
The UN has also monitored the transfer of three of Erik Prince’s planes to a close acquaintance for use in Libya. The jets were also said to have been transferred from the Prince’s firms to a mercenary firm located in the United Arab Emirates. Prince was not charged with a crime as a result of the investigations.
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Prince was admitted into the United States Naval Academy and stayed for three semesters before departing, stating that he enjoyed the Navy but not the Academy. He went on to get his B.A. after that.
Hillsdale College awarded him a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1992. He was a volunteer fireman and a cold-water diver with the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department during his tenure at Hillsdale. Prince went on to work as an EMT (emergency medical technician).
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Prince relocated to Virginia Beach in 1997 and personally funded the establishment of Blackwater Worldwide. He purchased 6,000 acres (24 km2) in North Carolina’s Great Dismal Swamp and established a special operations school. The name “Blackwater” stems from the school’s location, which is surrounded by peat-coloured bogs.
Blackwater received $2 billion in government security contracts between 1997 and 2010, including more than $1.6 billion in unclassified federal contracts and an unknown amount of secret activity. From 2001 through 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gave Blackwater and its affiliates up to $600 million in confidential contracts.
It grew to be the largest of the State Department’s three private security firms, with 987 personnel assigned to embassies and facilities across the world. Prince established a shooting range on his remote Virginia property to serve as a training facility for the CIA’s Langley headquarters. Prince attributes his decision to start Blackwater to the 1994 Rwandan massacre.
Later, he stated, “It disturbed me a lot. It taught me that you can’t just sit about pontificating. You must take action.” After the Nisour Plaza tragedy in Baghdad in September 2007, when Blackwater operatives opened fire in a crowded square, killing 17 Iraqi civilians and gravely injuring another 20, Blackwater came under increased scrutiny.
In October 2014, three guards were found guilty of 14 counts of manslaughter and one count of murder in a federal court in the United States. After President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the criticism persisted. Prince feels that most of the criticism is motivated by politics. “I put myself and my firm at the disposal of the CIA for some extremely perilous operations,” Prince said in an interview with Vanity Fair in January 2010.
Someone threw me under the bus when it became politically convenient to do so.” After the Iraqi government declined to renew the company’s operating licence, Blackwater lost a $1 billion contract with the State Department to secure American diplomatic workers in 2009.
Despite this, the Obama administration gave the corporation a $120 million security contract from the US Department of State and around $100 million in additional CIA work in 2010. Academi, Blackwater’s successor business, paid a total of $49.5 million in 2012 to resolve accusations of arms trafficking breaches dating back to Prince’s time as CEO and chairman.
Prince was the subject of another FBI investigation into arms trafficking offences in 2020, this time involving the conversion of crop dusters into military aircraft. According to a UN assessment, Prince also broke a UN arms embargo by assisting a conspiracy to supply a Libyan warlord who was aiming to undermine the US-backed Libyan government.
Prince has defended Blackwater’s work, claiming that just 200 of the company’s 40,000 personal security missions entailed guards discharging their firearms. He’s stated, “No one has ever died or been wounded while in our care. We managed to keep them safe while losing 30 of our own soldiers.”
According to author Robert Young Pelton, Prince views Blackwater’s connection with the military as “an effective, private answer to sclerotic and costly government bureaucracy,” comparable to FedEx’s cooperation with the US Post Office. He attributes the idea for a lighter, quicker army to his father’s competitive spirit in the car industry.
On March 2, 2009, Prince resigned as CEO of Blackwater but remained chairman of the board until late 2010, when he sold the firm to a group of investors. Prince stated he was providing seats on a chartered jet for $6,500 per passenger while Americans and others were being evacuated following the collapse of the Afghan government in August 2021.
Prince was a member of a CIA task squad tasked with assassinating suspected terrorists. Prince claimed that his name was released to the public by the House Intelligence Committee. Prince believes that after shutting down the clandestine CIA training project in 2009, former CIA Director Leon Panetta unmasked him as a CIA asset.
Prince was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and went to Abu Dhabi in 2010 when Blackwater faced escalating legal troubles in the United States. His mission was to gather an 800-strong contingent of foreign troops for the United Arab Emirates, which had been prepared months before the Arab Spring.
He assisted the UAE in forming Reflex Responses, or R2, a new business with 51 per cent local ownership that he deliberately avoided mentioning in corporate records. He was in charge of overseeing the operation and recruiting personnel, including from Executive Outcomes, a former South African mercenary group employed by various African countries in the 1990s to suppress violent rebellions and preserve oil and diamond deposits.
Prince was training a force of 2,000 Somalis for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden as of January 2011. Several Arab countries, notably the United Arab Emirates, contributed to the initiative, which was sponsored by the United States. Mark Corallo, Prince’s spokesman, stated Prince had “no financial participation” in the project and refused to address any queries regarding his involvement.
Maritime Underwater Security Consultant’ John Burnett stated, “Piracy can only be stopped on land, and 34 governments with naval capabilities are attempting to stop it. With Prince’s experience and legendary reputation, I believe it has a good chance of succeeding.” Prince is the CEO of Frontier Resource Group, a private equity business, and the chairman of Frontier Services Group Ltd, a Bermuda-based logistics and transportation company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, until April 13, 2021.
The Chinese government is the major investor in Frontier Services Group, which is supported by China’s state-owned CITIC Group and Hong Kong-based businessman Johnson Chun Shun Ko. Prince’s businesses advise and encourage Chinese oil and gas investment in Africa. Prince’s intention to establish a diesel refinery in South Sudan, in which $10 million had already been committed, was reportedly halted in May 2014.
Salva Kiir Mayardit, the country’s president, is said to have personally supported the stopped refinery project. South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum reportedly paid Frontier Services Group $23.3 million to deliver supplies and maintain oil-producing facilities. Three Mi-24 assault helicopters and two L-39 planes, as well as the services of Hungarian mercenary pilots to operate the aircraft, were sold to the government of South Sudan for $43 million dollars.
One of the Hungarian pilots gained notoriety after bragging on his Facebook page about his daily kills. Frontier Services Group obtained shares in two Kenyan aircraft firms, Kijipwa Aviation and Phoenix Aviation, to offer logistical services for the country’s oil and gas industry, as part of Prince’s Africa-focused investment strategy.
The Kenya Civil Aircraft Authority refused to renew Kijipwa Aviation’s aviation certificate in October 2014. Prince also bought a 25% share in Airborne Technologies, an Austrian aircraft firm. Prince hired the business in 2014 to outfit Thrush 510G crop-dusters with surveillance technology, machine guns, armour, and other armaments, as well as modified pylons that could accommodate NATO or Russian ballistics.
Shortly before a contract with Frontier Services Group was cancelled, one of the modified crop dusters was given to Salva Kiir Mayardit’s army in South Sudan. Frontier Services Group has two of the modified Thrush 510Gs, but the business has refused to sell or use them since learning they had been armed by Prince, in order to avoid breaking US export rules.
The New York Times reported in May 2018 that Prince convened a meeting in Trump Tower in August 2016 attended by himself, Donald Trump, Jr., George Nader, and Joel Zamel, during which Nader reportedly told Trump Jr. that the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win the election, and Zamel pitched a social media manipulation campaign from his Israeli firm Psy-Group.
Prince testified to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017 that he had no formal interactions or contact with the Trump campaign and played no unofficial role in it. When asked about the discrepancy in March 2019, Prince said, “I’m not sure if [the Committee] got the transcript wrong” and that “not all of the discussion that day was recorded, and that’s a fact.”
In March 2019, Prince admitted for the first time that he had attended the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, claiming that he was there to “discuss Iran policy.” Special Counsel investigators looked into a meeting held in Seychelles on January 11, 2017, and attended by UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (also known as “MBZ”). Nader and Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, who is close to Vladimir Putin, were also present at the meeting.
According to reports, UAE officials assumed Prince was representing Trump’s transition team and Dmitriev was representing Putin. According to the Washington Post, the Seychelles meeting was “part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump,” according to American, European, and Arab sources.
In November 2017, Prince testified before the House Intelligence Committee, denying that he represented the Trump transition or that the meeting featured any back-channel communications. The Special Counsel had gathered evidence that contradicted Prince, according to the Washington Post, and ABC News reported on April 6, 2018, that Nader had met with Prince at a Manhattan hotel days before the Seychelles meeting and later provided him with biographical information about Dmitriev, according to ABC News.
Nader had represented Prince to Dmitriev, according to the Mueller investigation “Steve [Bannon] has asked me to see you! I know him and he is very well connected and trusted by the New Team,” while Prince “acknowledged that it was reasonable for Nader to expect Prince to share information with the Transition Team.” “, despite the fact that Bannon claimed Prince had not informed him of the Dmitriev meeting ahead of time.
Although the Mueller investigation indicated that Prince and Nader made extensive arrangements to see Dmitriev, Prince said to the House Intelligence Committee that “I didn’t fly there to meet any Russian man.” Although Prince described a second meeting with Dmitriev in a hotel bar as a chance meeting of no consequence, the meeting was actually pre-arranged after Prince learned from calls home that Russia had moved an aircraft carrier off the coast of Libya, and he wanted to convey that the US would not accept any Russian involvement in Libya.
On April 30, 2019, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that he was referring Prince to the Justice Department for a criminal referral, saying that he gave misleading testimony to the committee. On February 4, 2020, United States Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd revealed that the Department of Justice was investigating Prince.
Prince reportedly headed to Venezuela on December 30, 2019, to meet with a key assistant to Nicolas Maduro. Prince has been submitted to the US Treasury Department for alleged breaches of the Maduro government’s sanctions. According to the New York Times, Prince has been recruiting former CIA officers to infiltrate “Democratic congressional campaigns, labour organisations, and other groups considered antagonistic to the Trump agenda” in recent years.
Prince’s efforts were purportedly made to help Project Veritas, a highly reviled conservative outfit that has been accused of propagating “organised misinformation” owing to its recurrent use of fraudulently manipulated films to undermine Democrats, the media, and left organisations.
Richard Seddon, a veteran British spy, oversaw the plans’ field operations and trained agents at the Prince ranch in Wyoming until mid-2018. Prince is also said to have arranged for Project Veritas staff to obtain intelligence training, which ended when the trainer departed because the group “couldn’t learn.”
After the group’s failure to report to state authorities the criminal conviction of its creator, James O’Keefe, the organization’s charity organisation registration was revoked in various states, and other donors withdrew their financial support, Prince continued to fund it. The New York Times revealed in May 2021 that Project Veritas surreptitiously surveilled federal personnel under the Trump administration with the help of a former British spy and Erik Prince, with the purpose of discrediting perceived Trump adversaries.
Arranging dates for FBI workers with the intention of recording them was one of the tactics used. Despite enormous expenses, including the renting of an upscale Georgetown residence, the operation failed to film a single official criticising Trump. The Intercept revealed in April 2020 that Prince had offered his services as a subcontractor to the Russian Wagner group’s operations in Mozambique and Libya, implying airborne surveillance platforms and a ground force.
Based on an internal UN assessment, investigations by Rolling Stone and The New York Times have now identified a number of ties between Prince and Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar’s attempts to undermine the UN-backed government in 2019. Erik Prince proposed an $80 million agreement to Libyan militia commander Khalifa Haftar on April 14, 2019, to supply planes and other military equipment.
The procurement of surplus military helicopters from Jordan was dubbed Project Opus. The plan called for Haftar’s troops to be supplied with intelligence surveillance planes, drones, armed assault helicopters, maritime interdiction, and cyber intelligence and targeting capabilities.
The project, however, was shelved in June of this year. The Prince’s initiative was planned, managed, and funded by three businesses based in the United Arab Emirates: Lancaster 6 DMCC, L-6 FZE, and Opus Capital Asset Limited FZE, all of which used a network of shell corporations. Lancaster 6 and Opus Capital Asset, two Emirati corporations, were linked to a group of private mercenaries and the rare Pilatus PC-6 ISR aircraft dispatched to Libya to help Haftar.
A crop duster, the LASA T-Bird, was also owned by the UAE’s L-6 FZE and was part of Erik Prince’s Project Opus. The Light, Attack, and Surveillance Aircraft (LASA), which made its debut at the Paris Air Show in 2017, travelled to Serbia for repair in August 2018, according to a UN report published in March 2021.
According to the UN, the ‘agricultural’ plane was modified to carry a 32-57mm Rocket Pod, a 16-57mm Rocket Pod, and a gun pod equipped with twin 23mm guns under the aircraft’s wings.
Erik Prince Net worth
He has a $2.5 billion dollar net worth. Prince was the founder and proprietor of XE, better known as Blackwater Worldwide, a military contractor that carried out top-secret government missions.
Height weight age
Erik Prince stands at 1.70 metres or 5 feet and 6 inches tall. This individual weighs 75 kg. This information is current as of Jan 2023. He appears to be in excellent physical condition, thanks to his military experience.
Erik Prince Wife
Although there have been no records or reports of his dating life, He was married to his wife Joan Prince who later passed away. He married Joanna Ruth Prince later and was married to her until 2012.
He is married to Stacy DeLuke as of now.
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