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Pritzker Heir Asks Judge to Freeze Assets

January 22, 2003

CHICAGO (AP) _ Attorneys for an 18-year-old member of the Pritzker family who has filed a multibillion dollar lawsuit against her father and other relatives have now asked a Cook County judge to freeze assets of the Pritzker Foundation.

The motion, filed Tuesday, seeks a preliminary injunction to freeze the assets of one of Chicago’s most prominent charitable institutions until the lawsuit is resolved.

Liesel Pritzker, an actress and the granddaughter of patriarch Abram Nicholas Pritzker, claims in her lawsuit that family members drained her trust funds of more than $1 billion.

If granted, the injunction would also stop family members from selling, disposing or transferring any assets they received from Liesel Pritzker’s trusts.

The injunction would not prevent the foundation from giving away income it earns. But it would prevent the foundation _ which controls $618 million in assets, according to its 2001 tax return _ from disbursing the principal.

The motion is the latest chapter in a battle that made headlines in November when Pritzker filed her lawsuit against her father and other members of the family that controls a private fortune of more than $15 billion. Their holdings include the Hyatt Corp. The lawsuit seeks compensation and at least $5 billion in punitive damages.

Included with the motion are documents that contend other Pritzker grandchildren set up at least nine new charitable foundations in Illinois since last January.

Lazar Raynal, Liesel’s lead attorney, said the motion was the only way to preserve the $1 billion already taken from his client.

``We attempted to obtain a voluntary agreement. We were unsuccessful,″ he said Tuesday. ``We felt we were forced to file this to protect Liesel’s interests.″

Barry Rosen, a Chicago attorney representing Liesel’s father, Robert Pritzker, and two children from his first marriage, did not immediately return a call from comment from The Associated Press.

Liesel Pritzker’s attorneys are scheduled to appear in court Jan. 30 to formally present their motion.

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