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Ex-Lampoon exec Dan Laikin admits to stock fraud

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Carmel businessman Dan Laikin pleaded guilty this afternoon to participating in a fraudulent scheme to pump up the stock price of National Lampoon Inc., the Los Angeles-based entertainment company he led.

Laikin, 46, pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia to one felony count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 13. He could face up to five years in prison.

Laikin agreed to admit guilt under a plea agreement negotiated with federal prosecutors. He also had been facing a second felony charge, securities fraud. If convicted on both charges, he could have faced up to 25 years in prison.

Laikin, former co-owner of locally based Biltmore Homes, stepped down as CEO of National Lampoon in December, after prosecutors accused him of conspiring with a Las Vegas-based consultant and two East Coast stock promoters to manipulate Lampoon’s stock price. The other three defendants previously admitted guilt.

Court records say the FBI nabbed the four as part of a sting operation that included a stock promoter who secretly was working for the government. The records quote from conversations investigators say Laikin and other defendants had with the confidential witness.

Investigators say Laikin’s scheme began in March 2008, when he paid a co-defendant to orchestrate a pattern of trading in National Lampoon that would create the false impression of increased market activity and demand for the shares.

At a meeting in April, Laikin told the confidential witness that he needed two things: “revenue for my business” and “a stock that actually trades at a value I am happy with.”

None of the efforts succeeded in kindling interest in the stock, which has been below $2 for more than a year and now fetches only about 40 cents.
 

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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