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Former 'CHiPs' star charged with securites fraud

October 8, 2010 | 11:30 am

Wilcox How do we break this to Ponch?

Federal regulators on Thursday brought securities fraud charges against more than a dozen penny-stock promoters — including Larry Wilcox, who played California Highway Patrol officer Jonathan "Jon" Baker on the hit TV show "CHiPs" in the late 1970s and early '80s.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it caught the promoters in "various illicit kickback schemes to manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales."

The SEC, the U.S. attorney for southern Florida and the FBI set up a sting to lure stock promoters, according to an SEC statement.

The agency said the schemes it uncovered "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."

Read the full story here.

-- Tom Petruno

Photo:  Larry Wilcox in "CHiPs '99'."  Credit: Tracy Bennett / TBS