Legendary electronic music trio Swedish House Mafia have been named in the Pandora Papers, an explosive leak of offshore financial data.
Published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the cache of 11.9 million leaked documents implicates dozens of politicians, billionaires, celebrities, and business leaders. They expose scores of sensitive financial deals, secret bank accounts, and controversial tax infrastructures, leading to a global scramble by the world's elite to mitigate the fallout.
According to a report by Swedish national public television broadcaster SVT, Swedish House Mafia formed a company in the British Virgin Islands to manage ownership of various recordings released by the group, as well as its name and logo. The entity reportedly owned the rights to "Don’t You Worry Child" and "Save the World," two of the band's most popular songs.
Swedish House Mafia retained a wealth advisor to establish the entity, SHM Holdings Ltd., in 2009, SVT reports. The advisor is said to have created it on behalf of the band's members, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Steve Angello, through a separate company called Marsham LLC, which originated on Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea.
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It's important to note that Swedish House Mafia are not currently under investigation for tax evasion or financial wrongdoing, and their involvement in the Pandora Papers debacle doesn't necessarily incriminate its members. A spokesperson for the band confirmed the offshore entity's existence in an email to SVT, but asserted that the arrangement—including the affiliation with the wealth adviser—ceased in 2013 despite reportedly operating as late as 2017.
"(There were) questions as to whether the construction could be perceived as a way of, so to speak, concealing assets, which could be to the detriment of the SHM brand," the spokesperson said, adding that the purpose of the entity "was not to evade tax."
Swedish House Mafia are in the midst of a vigorous comeback campaign, recently announcing their first music festival appearance of 2021 and a high-profile collaboration with The Weeknd. Prior to the July 2021 release of "It Gets Better," the trio hadn't put out new music since 2012's seminal Until Now album. The group eventually split up following the conclusion of 2013's expansive One Last Tour before reuniting for a momentous performance at the 2018 edition of Ultra Music Festival in Miami.