State and local officials promised an Egyptian company $200-million in tax breaks…without knowing about a pending federal lawsuit that had been filed against one of its subsidiaries.
Last year Governor Branstad signed off on tax breaks to entice Orascom to build a fertilizer plant in Lee County.
Recently it has come to light that an Orascom subsidiary is currently fighting a federal lawsuit that accuses the company of committing fraud to win a $332 million government contract in 2004.
The company wasn’t required to disclose the lawsuit, but Iowa officials also didn’t discover it while researching the company.
Orascom plans to employ 150 people at the Lee County plant. They will receive more than $1 million in state and local tax breaks for each job it creates.