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New York private equity manager, firm charged with $12 million theft

Published on Jan 31, 2014 9:51 AM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Thursday it has charged a New York private equity manager and his firm with stealing more than US$9 million (S$12 milion) from fund investors.

The government has frozen the assets of Lawrence E. Penn III and his firm, Camelot Acquisitions Secondary Opportunity Management, another individual and three entities that may be related to the theft, according to an SEC release.

The SEC alleges that Penn used about US$9.3 million from the fund to pay fake fees to Ssecurion, a company controlled by his longtime acquaintance, San Francisco-based Altura S. Ewers, who would then kick the money back to companies and accounts controlled by Penn.

Penn used the funds to rent luxury office space and pay commissions to third parties to secure investments from pension funds, according to the release.

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