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Life Partners Discloses It Received Amended SEC Wells Notice

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Life Partners Holdings Inc. (LPHI) on Monday disclosed it received an amended notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission that the agency's staff will recommend civil action against the company and three of its officers. Last month, Life Partners had disclosed it received a so-called Wells notice from the SEC stating that the staff would recommend civil action against the company and two executives -- Chief Executive Brian D. Pardo and General Counsel R. Scott Peden. The expanded Wells notice includes Chief Financial Officer David M. Martin. Shares of Life Partners, which participates in the secondary market for life insurance, slid as low as 3.6% to $3.76 in after-hours trading, but were recently even at $3.90. The company has said the potential SEC action concerns the accuracy of a key part of the investment equation for its retail investors: the company's estimates of the life expectancies of those whose policies they were buying. The shorter the estimated life expectancy of the insured person, the more money the retail investors could expect to make. On Monday, Life Partners disclose the expanded notice also includes allegations about the disclosures regarding some accounting policies and practices, including revenue recognition, impairments of settlements held by the company for investment, and the stated policy for premium advances Life Partners might make on some client policies. A Wells notice gives potential targets of SEC action time to present a counterargument before any final SEC decision is made. -By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; john.kell@dowjones.com

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