If you opened up to the Journal‘s trusty Heard on the Street section this morning, you may have noticed that the half of the page called In the Markets was dedicated to items about actors named Larry who starred in television dramas in the cultural golden era between 1978 and 1983. In the 24 hours, even outside of the very dreary jobs report, we’ve learned about an investment fraud targeting the deaf, a guilty plea from Park Avenue’s TARP fraudster, and, of course, new developments in a foreclosure crisis that has now gotten so horrible that it’s almost funny. So it’s not surprising that the stories of the Larrys have gotten a lot of attention.
The first but less amusing scandal involves Larry Hagman, Dallas‘ J.R. Ewing, but also I Dream of Jeannie‘s Maj. Anthony Nelson, not to mention the director of the Blob sequel Beware! The Blob from 1972. Citigroup has been ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to pay Mr. Hagman $1.1 million, plus $10 million to his favorite charities, in addition to nearly $500,000 in legal costs. Mr. Hagman’s complaint against Citi, connected to life-insurance and “unspecified securities,” had alleged breach of fiduciary duty, civil fraud and failure to supervise.
The story of Larry Wilcox, or Officer Jon Baker of ChiPs, did not end as happily for the actor. As documented by Dealbook’s Thomas Kaplan, who deserves a lot of credit for getting the phrase “garishly snazzy” into his write-up, Mr. Wilcox has been accused by the SEC of paying kickbacks to manipulate penny stocks. Specifically, he is said to have given $16,000 to a man in exchange for his purchase of 1.6 million shares in the actor’s UC Hub Group. That man turned out to be an F.B.I. agent.
Ominously, UC Hub was an outfit dedicated to the television business, but also mining and energy.