The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that ICON Capital LLC, an entity that manages equipment leasing funds, agreed to settle charges that it caused four of its funds to report materially inaccurate financial results in their SEC filings and pay a $750,000 penalty.
Our firm has represented many clients in equipment leasing products like LEAF and ICON. All of these investments come with high costs that do not compensate investors for the extreme risk being taken. Equipment leasing funds historically underperform even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds. Investors are destined to lose money in equipment leasing programs like LEAF Equipment Leasing Income Funds I-IV and ICON Leasing Funds Eleven and Twelve. The high costs and fees associated with these investments make significant returns virtual impossibility. Further, investor often fail to understand that they have lost money under many years after agreeing to the investment. In sum, for all of their costs and risks, investors in these programs are in no way additionally compensated for the loss of liquidity, risks, or cost.
On top of these high risks, the SEC has now found that the funds’ opaque nature has allowed the funds to hide more investor losses. According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding, the four funds’ financial results were misstated due to accounting errors relating to the impairment of assets and that ICON failed to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) on multiple occasions.