CHiPs Star Larry Wilcox Sentenced After FBI Sting
By Christine Fenno Posted Jan 29th 2011 08:53AM
Larry Wilcox, 63, once played golden-gloved motorcycle patrol officer Jon Baker alongside Erik Estrada on the hit '70s series 'CHiPs.'
But now, the former actor is in serious trouble with the law, according to NBC News.
On Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with his wife reportedly weeping in the courtroom, Wilcox was sentenced to three years' probabtion -- plus 500 hours of community service and a $100 fine -- for conspiring to commit securities fraud.
Caught during an FBI sting in South Florida, the onetime TV star was accused of trying to profit from an employee pension fund through kickbacks. He faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison, but allegedly cooperated with investigators by identifying other suspects involved in the scheme.
"My actor's pride and ego led me into areas well beyond my ability to perform," Wilcox told the judge.
"I think we got an individual who is truly remorseful," U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn said. "He should not be punished because of his celebrity status."
Wilcox was first charged in October. He soon filed for bankrupty, claiming more than a million dollars in liabilities. On Friday, he said he was financially broke and apologized to the court, saying, "I betrayed my core values with what I did. I am deeply sorry."
After the guilty plea, Wilcox's attorney called the fraud case an "aberration" in an otherwise "exemplary" life. Nearly a dozen supporters reportedly flew in from California to back Wilcox in the courtroom.
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