National Lampoon and the SEC, Santa Claus Re-Gifting, etc.

There is something so deliriously surreal about the SEC catching National Lampoon’s CEO allegedly engaging in stock manipulation, while missing the Madoff case, that I hardly know what to say.

Daniel S. Laikin, National Lampoon’s CEO, Charged with Paying Kickbacks in Exchange for Manipulating the Market for National Lampoon’s Stock

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that today it charged seven individuals and two corporations with engaging in three separate fraudulent schemes to manipulate the market for publicly traded securities through the payment of prearranged kickbacks. The defendants include National Lampoon, Inc. and its CEO, Daniel S. Laikin, as well as stock promoters, a consultant, and an officer of another company. The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania today separately announced criminal charges involving the same conduct.

The Commission’s actions, filed in federal district court in Philadelphia, allege that, in each case, individuals who controlled the stock of a public company arranged with corrupt promoters and others to generate purchases of the company’s stock in exchange for cash kickbacks. In each case, a witness secretly cooperating with the government (the "CW") was paid a kickback to make purchases in the stock. The goal of the manipulators was to create the appearance of market interest, induce public purchases of the stock, and ultimately increase the stock’s trading price. For example, the Commission alleges that Daniel Laikin and another defendant paid at least $68,000 in cash kickbacks for the purchase of National Lampoon stock in order to artificially inflate the stock price.

More here. It can’t be much longer until we find out about Santa Claus’s re-gifting scam.