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Prime Group agrees to pay $20.5 million to settle US SEC charges

FILE PHOTO: The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Prime Group Holdings LLC, a private equity firm based in Saratoga Springs, New York, has agreed to pay $20.5 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges related to disclosure failures, the regulator said on Tuesday.

Prime Group failed to adequately disclose millions of dollars in real estate brokerage fees paid to a firm owned by its CEO. The firm agreed to pay a $6.5 million civil penalty and to give back another $14 million in proceeds, the SEC said in a statement.

Prime Group did not adequately disclose to its investors that an affiliated firm was booking real estate brokerage fees related to an investment fund the group launched in 2017, the SEC said. That affiliate received nearly $18 million in such fees between 2017 and 2021, regulators said.

A representative for Prime Group, which did not admit or deny the SEC's charges, declined to comment.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)