CHiPs star Larry Wilcox has come a long ways from his a role as a motorcycle officer on the '70s hit TV show. Actually, he has assumed the exact opposite role from a law enforcement officer, and is now learning how seriously some laws are enforced. The 63 year-old Larry Wilcox has been charged with securities fraud as part of a larger penny-stock promoters circle.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Wilcox, "perpetrated interrelated kickback schemes with two other penny-stock company executives. What the promoters and insiders did not know is that was that the people with whom they arranged these illegal transactions were actually undercover FBI agents or confidential sources participating in undercover operations." Wilcox was the CEO of the company UC Hub Group.
Translation: Wilcox and crew were giving kickbacks in order to manipulate the volume and price of their stocks and very illegally generate stock sales. What they didn't know is that they were selling to undercover agents. Ooops. The Times adds that there are around twelve other parties being investigated in connection with the UC Hub Group
Securities fraud is a special area of white collar crime that is governed by both state and federal law. This type of fraud can go undetected for a long time, especially when the actions are a series of small changes to the stock. Although jail time is an option for this felony, the real aim of the punishment is usually to give the victims of the fraud their money back and impose substantial fines on the defendant. In the case of Larry Wilcox, the SEC is currently seeking an injunction against all members believed to be involved, and for Wilcox to step down from his position.