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SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 13: Actors Larry Wlicox and Erik Estrada pose in the audience at the 2005 TV Land Awards at Barker Hangar on March 13, 2005 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
He played a motorcycle cop on the popular '70s drama "CHiPs," but now former actor Larry Wilcox is on the other side of the law.
Wilcox, who played Officer Jon Baker alongside partner Erik Estrada, was busted by federal officers yesterday on securities fraud charges.
The 63-year-old Wilcox was one of three penny stock promoters allegedly paying kickbacks to FBI agents who went undercover and posed as law-breaking pension fund managers. Wilcox lives in West Hills, Calif., and heads a company called The UC Hub Group, which, according to its website, "is currently focused on Precious Metals, Gems and the Oil and Gas Industry."
Wilcox will be fined heavily by the SEC.
"These corrupt promoters meticulously planned their schemes down to the last detail, except for the possibility that they were walking into an undercover operation," Robert Khuzami, of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told the New York Daily News.
"CHiPs" ran from 1977 to 1983 and worked primarily because of the chemistry between Wilcox, the straight-shooting Eagle Scout of the two, and the libertine Estrada, he of the alarmingly bright teeth.
Since the show went off the air, Wilcox has been the more actively entrepreneurial of the duo. Estrada has dabbled in business, however, most notably in a series of infomercials for real estate deals in a place called Bella Vista Village in Arkansas.
As actors, neither has subsequently been able to match the success they experienced on "CHiPS," though Wilcox made a cameo on "30 Rock" last year and Estrada appeared in something called "Spring Break '83" this year.