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.

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