WASHINGTON – Blackwater Worldwide formed a network of 30 shell companies and subsidiaries to try to get millions of dollars in government business after the security company faced strong criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, The New York Times reported Friday.

The newspaper said it was unclear how many of the created companies got American contracts, but that at least three of them obtained work with the U.S. military and the CIA.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has asked the Justice Department to see whether Blackwater misled the government when using the subsidiaries to gain government contracts, according to the Times.

It said Levin’s committee found that North Carolina-based Blackwater, which now is known as Xe Services, went to great lengths to find ways to get lucrative government work despite criminal charges and criticism stemming from a 2007 incident in which Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians. A committee chart outlines the web of Blackwater subsidiaries.

Messages left late Friday with spokespeople for Levin and Xe were not immediately answered.