Approximately 20 years ago, Thomas Priore was playing the biggest game
of his life as the quarterback of Harvard University. Unfortunately, he
lost that game 34-19. The 41-year-old Mr. Priore now faces a greater challenge,
as federal regulators accuse him of
Mr. Priore, who earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, and his colleagues
acquired a controlling interest in ICP Capital. Since taking control,
ICP has become a leader in the market for collateralized debt obligations
However, the success of the company may have been a result of illegal
practices. Federal regulators have accused Mr. Priore and ICP of defrauding
investors since 2007.
According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC), Mr. Priore and ICP, “improperly obtained tens of millions
of dollars in fees and undisclosed profits at the expense of clients and
investors” through tactics such as inflating bond prices, making
unauthorized trades and self-dealing.
The SEC complaint also alleges that New York-based ICP withdrew approximately
$36.5 million from the fund to repay other non-related transactions, leaving
the fund with an approximate $119 million loss.
“We at all times acted in the best interest of our clients and intend
to vigorously defend ourselves against these allegations,” said
Mr. Priore, who owns 76 percent of ICP’s holding company.
The complaint issued by the SEC and filed on Monday, June 21, 2010, will
be centered on mortgage-backed securities.