National Lampoon Not So Funny

Dec. 16 2008, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

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There was a time when National Lampoon meant box office gold, as in the smash Animal House starring John Belushi and the Vacation films with Chevy Chase.

Not any more.

The Securities and Exchange Commission -- which keeps the stock market relatively honest -- has suspended the trading of shares in the one time humor powerhouse, which once included a big-selling monthly magazine. The company still makes movies and operates a website.

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Oh, and 46 year-old CEO Daniel Laikin was arrested in Los Angeles yesterday and charged with fraud. He and others have been accused of paying kickbacks to stockholders so they wouldn't sell, generating the impression of interest and value in the company's stock.

Those shares closed at 72 cents yesterday. Looks like the plan kinda backfired.


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