“CHiPs” star Larry Wilcox faces
securities fraud charges for his involvement in an elaborate kickback scheme involving
penny stocks. Mr. Wilcox, who played California Highway Patrol Officer
Jonathan Baker in the hit TV show “CHiPs” in the late 70s
and 80s, was charged on Thursday, October 7, 2010, by federal regulators.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Attorney for
Southern Florida and the FBI caught more than a dozen penny-stock promoters,
along with Mr. Wilcox, in a sting operation set-up.
The promoters were caught in "various illicit kickback schemes to
manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate
stock sales,” said the SEC. The schemes revealed by the SEC "generally
involved the payment of kickbacks to purportedly corrupt pension fund
managers or stockbrokers, who would use their clients' accounts to
purchase the publicly traded stock of microcap issuers controlled or promoted
by the individuals and companies charged today."
The SEC has alleged that Mr. Wilcox operated the scam under his company,
UC Hub Group Inc. in which he “perpetrated interrelated kickback
schemes with two other penny-stock company executives.”
The SEC intends to continue its investigation into Mr. Wilcox and the
other alleged scam artists to determine if they were behind other scams
and to see if, and how many, investors became victims of their alleged
investment fraud schemes.