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News of the Competition (05/08/2014)
  • WASHINGTON (5/8/14)--Examinations of private-equity firms by the Securities and Exchange Commission have uncovered that more than half of allocated expenses and collected fees by the firms were done so either improperly or illegally, a top SEC official reported Tuesday ( The Wall Street Journal May 7). Shady practices by the firms, such as skimming off of investment returns by inappropriately charging fees or expenses, have cost investors millions of dollars, the commission found. Drew Bowden, SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations director, said the agency has identified "violations of law or material weaknesses in controls" in more than half of the 112 examinations performed. Earlier this year, the SEC charged the private-equity manager Camelot Acquisitions Secondary Opportunities Management with stealing $9 million from investors by running a "sham due diligence arrangement," where Camelot allegedly paid fake fees to a company controlled by an acquaintance, who then allegedly kicked the funds back to Camelot. . .

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