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ICP Founder Priore Challenged by SEC Over Home Transfers

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- ICP Asset Management LLC founder Thomas Priore was accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of illegally selling two homes into trusts controlled by himself, his wife and a friend after he was told the agency planned to sue him for fraud.

The SEC today asked a federal court in New York to let it amend a complaint filed in June against Priore, ICP and two related companies to include allegations that Priore fraudulently transferred the homes, located on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and in Chappaqua, New York.

In the original complaint, the SEC claimed Priore and New York-based ICP fraudulently directed more than $1 billion of trades at artificially high prices on behalf of collateralized debt obligations they managed.

After his lawyer was told the agency intended to sue, Priore sold the Martha’s Vineyard property, for $1, and the Chappaqua home, for $10, to the trusts “to hinder the commission’s ability to collect disgorgement, penalties and prejudgment interest from him,” the SEC said in its proposed amended complaint.

Dane Butswinkas, a lawyer representing Priore and ICP, declined to comment. The defendants have denied wrongdoing and are fighting the suit.

The case is SEC v. ICP Asset Management LLC, 10-CV-4791, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in U.S. District Court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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