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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Before the
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Release No. 48381 / August 20, 2003

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING
File No. 3-11235


In the Matter of

JAMES HICKS,

Respondent.


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ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS

I.

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") against James Hicks ("Hicks" or "Respondent").

II.

In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, Respondent has submitted an Offer of Settlement (the "Offer"), which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of these proceedings and any other proceedings brought by or on behalf of the Commission, or to which the Commission is a party, and without admitting or denying the findings herein, except as to the Commission's jurisdiction over him and the subject matter of these proceedings, and the findings contained in Section III.2 below, which are admitted, Respondent consents to the entry of this Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions ("Order"), as set forth below.

III.

On the basis of this Order and Respondent's Offer, the Commission finds that:

  1. For the period July 1999 through January 2000, Hicks was associated with an unregistered broker-dealer.

  2. Hicks was permanently enjoined on August 8, 2003, from violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas [SEC v. Westshore Agency of Michigan, Inc., et al., H-00-1827]. Hicks consented to the entry of the permanent injunction without admitting or denying any violation of the federal securities laws, as alleged in the Commission's Complaint.

  3. The Commission's Complaint in SEC v. Westshore Agency of Michigan, Inc., et al., alleged that in 1999 and 2000 Hicks acted as a sales agent for Chemical Trust and Alliance Trust ("Chemical Trust") and that he offered for sale and sold, using the means and instrumentalities of interstate commerce, unregistered securities offered by Chemical Trust. The Commission's Complaint further alleged that Hicks failed to conduct any meaningful due diligence into the claims made by Chemical Trust and its ability to pay the investment returns Hicks promised his purchasers. The Commission's Complaint further alleged that Hicks made untrue statements or made statements with reckless disregard as to the accuracy of the statements in connection with the offer and sale of the Chemical Trust securities. The Commission's Complaint further alleged that the Chemical Trust securities were part of a nationwide ponzi scheme operated by Chemical Trust and that the claims and representations made by Chemical Trust and communicated by Hicks in connection with the offer and sale of the securities, were fraudulent and untrue. The Commission's Complaint further alleged that Hicks used the means and instrumentalities of interstate commerce to offer and sell securities without being registered with the Commission as a broker or dealer.

IV.

In view of the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions specified in Respondent Hicks' Offer.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

Pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act Respondent Hicks be, and hereby is, barred from association with any broker or dealer with the right to reapply for association after three years to the appropriate self-regulatory organization, or if there is none, to the Commission.

By the Commission.

Jonathan G. Katz
Secretary

 

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/34-48381.htm


Modified: 08/21/2003