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CHiPS Larry Wilcox Busted in Undercover Penny Stocks Sting Operation

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Seems CHiPS didn’t pay off too well, at least not in the law enforcement education department--and apparently not in the financial arena either. Larry Wilcox, aka “officer” Jon Baker and prior law enforcement aficionado—is facing prison time for, of all things, “pump and dump” of penny stocks.
Apparently co-star Erik Estrada, and his "California Pines" real estate venture taught Wilcox nothing. Wilcox, star of the California Highway Patrol motorcycle drama TV show dubbed “CHiPS”, has been charged with securities fraud by the SEC—apparently the SEC believes Wilcox has been involved in “illicit kickback schemes to manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales.”
The “CHiPs” TV star, says the SEC, has been manipulating penny stocks—now Wilcox is agreeing to settle criminal charges in the case. Wilcox, now age 63 and living in West Hills, California, has reached a plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in southern Florida—facing up to a five year prison term related to those alleged “schemes”. The Justice Department alleges that the promoters agreed to pay kickbacks to investors in “pump and dump” schemes. Basically, cooperating investors would buy shares of the promoters’ thinly traded penny stocks—to drive up prices in order to lure other “investors” into the shares. Promoters can then dump more of their own shares--on unsuspecting investors.
It seems that former career in “law enforcement” didn’t pay off too well for the TV star. What the promoters, including—allegedly--Wilcox didn’t know was that the “investors” being paid off were actually undercover government agents. Yeah, “Ponch” ironically got busted in a sting operation.
The government also claims that Wilcox, more recently, headed a company called UC Hub Group Inc. The firm’s web site claims the company is involved in “precious metals, gems, and the oil and gas industry.” More interesting is the following: “The company [UC Hub Group ] is also focused to increase the value for shareholders by doing the proper due diligence to prove economic validity for the acquisition of the target systems, operations, company or companies.” UC Hub Group stock has recently been selling for a fraction of a penny—reaching a high of 3 cents a share less than two years ago in early 2009—the same timeframe when the government says Wilcox's manipulation scheme was happening.
Apparently Wilcox didn’t feel like following CHiPS’ co-star Erik Estrada’s lead: the “lucrative” real estate business, powered by those most valuable "California Pines" properties--in the boondocks. But at least Estrada’s not facing prison time.
For a real kick, check out the attached link from the UC Hub Group's Press Release area--after touting a website designer's 15-year history and expertise in the design area, it appears he forgot to fix that link: it leads to all the current PR for the company, unfortunately that PR's not so hot after Wilcox's guilty plea. But visitors can read up on all the latest articles about Wilcox's woes--directly from its site.

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