In the Matter of SICA Wealth Management, LLC, et al. Admin. Proc. File No. 3-19716

Oct. 12, 2022

On February 27, 2020, the Commission instituted and simultaneously settled administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings (the “Order”) against SICA Wealth Management, LLC (“SWM”) and Jeffrey C. Sica (“Sica”) (collectively, the “Respondents”). In the Order, the Commission found that, on Sica’s recommendation, approximately 45 SWM advisory clients invested a total of more than $30 million in securities issued by Aequitas Commercial Finance, LLC, one of numerous entities affiliated with the Aequitas enterprise, the ultimate parent of which is Aequitas Management, LLC (“Aequitas”). In the Order, the Commission further found that, from October 2013 to November 2015, the Respondents violated the federal securities laws in making those recommendations when they failed to disclose to those clients material facts regarding the nature of compensation that Aequitas provided to SWM and another firm owned and controlled by Sica. The Commission ordered: SWM to pay a total of $378,693.42 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties pursuant to the payment plan detailed therein, with the last payment due within 360 days of the Order; and Sica to pay a $30,000 civil money penalty, to the Commission. The Commission also created a Fair Fund, pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, so the penalties, along with the disgorgement and prejudgment interest, collected can be distributed to those harmed by the Respondents’ conduct described in the Order (the “Fair Fund”). See the Commission’s Order: Release No. IA-5453.

The Fair Fund consists of the $150,000.00 paid to date, and any future funds paid pursuant to the Order will be added to the Fair Fund.

On April 8, 2020 the Commission issued an order appointing Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, as the Tax Administrator of the Fair Fund. See the Commission’s Order: Release No. 34-88598.

As of June 8, 2021, the Respondents have paid in full, and a total of $408,693.42 has been deposited in an interest-bearing account at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and any interest accrued will be added to the Fair Fund.

On April 19, 2022, the Commission published a notice of the proposed plan of distribution and opportunity for comment and simultaneously published the proposed plan of distribution (“Proposed Plan”). The Proposed Plan proposes Noel Gittens, a Commission employee, serve as the Fund Administrator to oversee the administration and distribution of the Fair Fund. The notice provides the public with 30 days to submit their comments on the Proposed Plan. See the Commission’s Notice: Release No. 34-94759 and the Proposed Plan.

The Proposed Plan provides for the distribution of the Net Available Fair Fund, comprised of the Fair Fund, plus accrued interest, less taxes and administrative costs, to those Sica Wealth Management clients who were harmed by the Respondents’ conduct described in the Order. The Proposed Plan provides for the reimbursement of advisory fees paid by SWM clients and compensation for investment losses related to the Respondents’ violations, in accordance with the methodology described in the Proposed Plan.

On June 16, 2022, the Commission issued an order approving the Proposed Plan and simultaneously posted the approved plan of distribution (the “Plan”). See the Commission’s Order: Release No. 34-95110 and the Plan.

On March 16, 2023, the Commission issued an order approving the disbursement of $382,902.00 from the Fair Fund for distribution to eligible investors.  See the Commission’s Order: Release No. 34-97152.

For more information, please contact the Commission:

Office of Distributions

Last Reviewed or Updated: March 21, 2023