by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
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Former secretary of commerce, U.S. (2013-2017)

Penny Pritzker

Related to  United States Bermuda
Data from: Paradise Papers
Penny Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, served as U.S. commerce secretary during President Barack Obama‘s second term. A longtime friend and backer of Obama, Pritzker has been a major donor to Democratic candidates and causes. To comply with federal ethics requirements, Pritzker committed to sell her interest in more than 200 companies within 90 days of assuming her Cabinet position.

In the data

On Dec. 7, 2011, a tax accountant associated with the Pritzker family provided Appleby with a copy of Penny Pritzker’s passport to confirm her identity to enable transactions involving offshore entities that held portions of her family investments.

Two Bermuda-based firms – IAS Holdings and Triton Container International Ltd. – emerge in numerous Appleby files related to Pritzker family transactions.

Pritzker’s investments in the two firms were included in a federal ethics filing in which Pritzker pledged to sell investments to avoid conflicts of interest. Federal ethics law limits Cabinet members’ ability to “personally and substantially” participate in government matters that could affect their financial interests.

Documents show that on June 27, 2013 – two days after her confirmation – Pritzker transferred shares in IAS Holdings and Triton Container to Delaware-registered DRBIT Investors LLC, which Appleby documents identify as being “owned by trusts that are for the benefit of Penny Pritzker's children.” A separate Appleby document lists DRBIT Investors’ mailing address as the same as Pritzker’s investment firm, PSP Capital. On the ethics form Pritzker filed the following year, IAS and Triton are simply listed as having been sold.

Penny Pritzker also showed up in Appleby’s records as shareholder of the Bermuda company THL Ltd. Pritzker’s ethics agreement states that her stake in THL, listed as worth between $500,000 and $1 million, was sold on the same date she transferred shares in IAS Holdings and Triton Container to DRBIT Investors.

Pritzker’s ethics forms value her interest in IAS Holdings at between $15,000 and $50,000 and her shares in Triton Container at between $1 million and $5 million at the time of the sale.

A Bermuda tax assessment sent to Appleby in July 2011 identifies IAS as an “exempted” company, meaning that it is exempt from local taxes, and notes that it will be subject to no new taxes until March 31, 2035.

Response

Pritzker’s representative at her investment firm, PSP Capital, did not respond to numerous phone calls and emails from ICIJ asking about the transactions.
This visualization contains relevant information in relation to the profiled individual. Some additional connections might show up once we release the full structured data connected to the Paradise Papers investigation in the coming weeks.
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