P.E. Manager Hit With Fraud Lawsuit

Jan 31 2014 | 12:40pm ET

A private-equity manager has been charged with bilking his investors out of more than $9 million.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lawrence Penn paid out bogus fees from his New York-based Camelot Acquisitions Secondary Opportunity Management to a company controlled by a friend. That friend, Altura Ewers, would then move the money into companies and accounts controlled by Penn.

Penn allegedly used the money to lure pension funds to invest with him.

"Penn held himself out as an ultra-sophisticated and well-connected investor in the private equity world," Andrew Calamari, head of the SEC's New York office, said. "Behind the scenes, Penn disregarded his obligations to the fund's investors and treated their assets as his own personal and professional slush fund."

The SEC has frozen Penn's and Ewers' assets, as well as those of Camelot and three related entities.

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