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In 2006, the endowments of Indiana University and Texas Christian University invested millions of dollars in a partnership, hoping to mint riches from oil, gas and coal.

The partnership was formed by the Houston-based Quintana Capital Group, whose principals include Donald L. Evans, an influential Texan and longtime supporter of former President George W. Bush. Little more than a year earlier, Mr. Evans had left his cabinet position as commerce secretary.

Though the group had an impressive Texas pedigree, presidential cachet and ambitions for operations in the United States, the new partnership was established in the Cayman Islands. The founders promised their university and nonprofit investors that the partnership would try to avoid federal taxes by exploiting a loophole called “blocker corporations,” which are typically established in tax havens around the world.

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Texas Christian University, which invested in an oil, gas and coal partnership established in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven.CreditCooper Neill for The New York Times

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