Pritzker's ties to thrift, tax haven eyed

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By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of commerce is facing scrutiny in the Senate for her ties to a subprime mortgage lender that failed in 2001 and as a beneficiary of family offshore trusts in the Bahamas.

Billionaire business executive Penny Pritzker of Chicago is a longtime Obama friend who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both of his presidential campaigns.

The Pritzker family had co-ownership of Superior Bank, a Chicago-area thrift which failed after losing millions of dollars on risky mortgage loans to borrowers with bad credit. Pritzker told the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday she regretted the failure of the thrift.

The Commerce post has been vacant since John Bryson resigned last summer. Forbes estimates Pritzker's net worth at $1.85 billion.

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