2024

Nikki Haley, Husband Play The ‘Grift Game’ Again

Banging the war drum … for her husband’s financial benefit.

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Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley’s husband has amassed a net worth of hundreds of thousands of dollars – and stands to make millions more – thanks to an undefined ownership interest in a shadowy defense subcontracting firm.

Even shadier? This interest is being revealed while Haley beats the war drum in support of military misadventures in Taiwan which could make her husband even richer …

News of the Haley family chicanery was exclusively reported over the weekend by William Bredderman of The Daily Beast. Since then, the story has gone … well, precisely nowhere. Aside from a pickup on Taegan Goddard‘s Political Wire (and a handful of lesser-known aggregator sites), no other mainstream media outlet seems willing to touch it.

That’s a shame … especially in light of all the unanswered questions raised by the original report.

According to Bredderman’s review of campaign finance disclosures, as much as $500,000 of Michael Haley‘s net worth comes from “an apparent shell entity tied to a government contractor seeking tax credits from her successor’s administration.”

The entity – Allied Defense LLC – was incorporated on January 22, 2021 in South Carolina. The company has used multiple Lowcountry addresses for its business location in the past – including the address of a Kiawah Island mansion purchased by the Haleys in 2019 for $2.4 million.

According to small business filings uncovered by Bredderman, the firm is involved in the “design and manufacturing of military vehicles,” and has specifically been “registered to export vehicles to Taiwan.”

Taiwan, eh? Put a pin in that for a moment …

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More immediately, there appear to be some crossed wires regarding the firm’s licensing and income.

“Charleston County authorities revealed to The Daily Beast that Allied Defense does not have a license to conduct business there,” Bredderman noted. “The Daily Beast further found that the company pays no real or personal property taxes for any assets within the county. Combined, these would mean Allied Defense legally can have no economic activity at the locations it purports to operate from.”

Think that’s sketchy? It gets sketchier …

Allied Defense’s most recent operating address in Charleston County has also been used by a company called Defense Engineering Services (DES) – which has an estimated $1.8 million in current military contracts, according to Bredderman.

No executives affiliated with either company would speak with Bredderman about Michael Haley – although the former ambassador’s political campaign denied any involvement, knowledge or participation on his part with the parent company.

A clip art-laden “services” page on Allied Defense’s website claims the company can “navigate political and legal concerns to allow for defense system acquisition” – relying on a team which “works internationally with government and in-country agents to establish and manage acquisition programs.”

The company further claims it can link clients to a “network of manufacturers (that) regularly deliver hardware and software solutions to defense contractors and governments.”

“From armored vehicles to sophisticated electronics, Allied Defense ensures that systems are built and delivered to spec,” the page continued.

How, exactly, can it do all this without a business license? And without paying taxes?

No one at the company (or at the Haley campaign) appears eager to answer those questions …

(Click to View)

Nikki Haley and Michael Haley (Facebook)

Want more sketchiness? The parent company linked to Allied Defense has previously been awarded job development tax credits from the administration of current South Carolina governor Henry McMaster, Haley’s successor in office. McMaster employs several former Haley staffers including his chief of staff and “shadow governor,” Trey Walker.

In April of this year, McMaster’s Commerce department announced the parent company, DES, had been approved for an unspecified number of “job development tax credits” tied to a $2.5 million investment in Charleston County – an investment which would ostensibly create 45 new jobs.

McMaster hailed the announcement and said he looked forward to “further strengthening our long-standing partnership with them in the years to come.” Meanwhile, his crony capitalist czar Harry Lightsey referred to the company as one of the “valued companies that support our aerospace and defense industry.”

“The expansion will be complete in May 2023, and operations are already online,” the Commerce release noted, referring to the investment.

Wait … already online? According to Bredderman, Commerce officials told him last week DES had yet to “finalize the deal.” Meaning the job development credits associated with it are most assuredly not online.

Given Haley’s reputation as the most unrestrained warmonger in the 2024 presidential field, such shady defense-related dealing would be concerning under any circumstances. The former United Nations ambassador has been an aggressive critic of the Chinese government, recently accusing former president Donald Trump of being “too friendly” to China.

“Communist China is an enemy,” Haley said in a saber-rattling speech back in June. “It is the most dangerous foreign threat we’ve faced since the Second World War.”

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RELATED | NIKKI HALEY GAINS GROUND IN SOUTH CAROLINA

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As for Taiwan – the island nation her husband’s company is hoping to equip with military vehicles – Haley appears to be overtly campaigning in support of his financial self-interest.

“Don’t wait for something to happen in Taiwan,” she told an audience in New Hampshire earlier this summer. “Do it now. Make sure our allies are working with them to make sure they have the equipment now, to make sure they have the ammunition now.”

Wait a second … “make sure they have the equipment now?”

Like those military vehicles boosting your husband’s bottom line?

Certainly, I can understand articulating an aggressive Taiwanese policy – but Haley’s remarks seem oddly specific.

All of this grows even more concerning when you consider this isn’t the first time the Haleys have played the grift game. Last summer, senior editor Mark Maremont of The Wall Street Journal filed a report detailing how Michael Haley was gifted secret ownership shares in a company tied to the Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain, N.C.

“The stakes held by the politically connected people were masked from public view through several layers of corporations and limited-liability companies,” Maremont noted.

They hid the shares, in other words …

“This is sickening, people,” I noted at the time. “It is definitional ‘pay-to-play.’ Clear and unambiguous corruption. And it appears to have been deliberately concealed to protect those responsible. And sadly, it is all so typical in South Carolina – where the first instinct of our ‘leaders’ is to make money for themselves while selling out their people.”

Haley made news last month when she told a television audience she “doesn’t love her husband 100 percent of the time.” I wonder … does she love him when she’s seeking to pad his pockets by pushing a neoconservative narrative?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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8 comments

ABG: Always Be Grifting August 15, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Are you saying they ever stopped playing the grift game?

Reply
Frank August 15, 2023 at 2:18 pm

I guess this hasn’t been picked up, because in the world of Republican grift, especially our former President and his family, this seems like just one more flea on the elephant’s ass.

Reply
Nanker Phelge August 15, 2023 at 3:06 pm

This story is going nowhere because Nikki is going nowhere.

Reply
Observer (the real one) August 16, 2023 at 8:39 am

This was an excellent article! This is the kind of stuff we always knew was going on but never had the proof. I wonder how much Lindsey is invested in or tied to this company. Look at the war mongers and follow the money.

I hope FitsNews has more coming out about this story! You did a great job with the Murdaugh saga but it has crossed over into serious “beating a dead horse” territory. Time to let that go and pick this up and run with it.

We need more about Trump’s favorite governor, McBastard’s involvement in this. Ditto Michael Haley. Does the military allow or condone this kind of thing? At a minimum, this should cost him and his career. This is DEEP! Please keep digging, Fits!

Reply
Observer (the real one) August 15, 2023 at 4:08 pm

They say write about what you know…and that’s exactly what Welfare Will Folks is doing.

Will is just a bottom feeding grifter, while Nikki is a more high class grifter.

Reply
Observer (the real one) August 16, 2023 at 8:51 am

Still hijacking others’ screen names, I see.

Reply
Observer (the real one) August 16, 2023 at 7:55 pm

You can run into some sad, sad people on the internet.

This is one of those times.

Reply
anastasia January 26, 2024 at 12:01 pm

How do you solve this problem with candidates when we find only self-serving, overly ambitious, greedy narcissists running for office? This Republic has gone the way of the second law of thermodynamics – i.e. all things become corrupted. And once it is corrupt, there is no remedy to bring it back. It’s been around 200 years, and was bound to become corrupted.

What’s the difference between getting a good leader through monarchy, or getting a good leader through a corrupt democratic process? None. Frankly, I think we would have a better chance through the notion of a “Divine right of kings.” Once in a while with the latter, you will get a good one.

Reply

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