Regulators brought securities fraud charges against actor Larry Wilcox, who played California Highway Patrol officer Jon Baker on the TV show "CHiPs."
The SEC alleged that Wilcox and at least a dozen others were engaged in "various illicit kickback schemes to manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales."
The agency says that Wilcox and the other defendants paid kickbacks to pension fund managers. The managers would then use the money in their accounts to purchase the stock of microcap issuers controlled or promoted by the defendants.
The penny-stock promoters were caught in a sting operation.
"What the promoters and insiders did not know was that the people with whom they arranged these illegal transactions were actually undercover FBI agents or confidential sources participating in undercover operations," the SEC said.
The agency lists Wilcox's company as UC Hub Group Inc.
Wilcox played Jon Baker, a motorcycle cop, in "CHiPs", which ran from 1977 to 1983.