Wilcox gets probation for securities fraud

FORT LAUDERDALE

U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn also ordered the 63-year-old to serve 500 hours of community service and pay a fine of $100. He had faced a maximum prison term of five years.

"I think we got an individual who is truly remorseful," Cohn said. "He should not be punished because of his celebrity status."

Wilcox was involved in one of several kickback operations run by more than a dozen small-company stock promoters, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The promoters were caught in an FBI undercover sting operation offering to pay kickbacks to pension-fund managers or stockbrokers for using client funds to buy penny stocks.

The actor cooperated with federal authorities, providing information to help identity the roles of two others involved in the scheme, according to federal prosecutors.

Wilcox, who played California highway officer Jonathan "Jon" Baker on the TV show "CHiPs," pleaded guilty in November to securities fraud conspiracy and recently filed for bankruptcy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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