National Lampoon CEO indicted

A month ago, we wrote about one of the more unusual deals that we have seen in some time: National Lampoon picked up just after the election. At the time, we noted that the acquisition was part of a larger shopping spree by the long-in-the-tooth humor site, which has inked a half-dozen deals so far this year. It was part of a make-over of National Lampoon from a licensing outfit (living off royalties from Animal House, the Vacation series and other earlier films) to one with actual operations. Additionally, we noted that the company traded on the Amex.

Imagine our surprise this morning amid reports that National Lampoon’s CEO Dan Laikin (who we spoke with around the deal) has been arrested and charged with conspiracy and securities fraud, allegedly trying to improperly inflate the company’s share price. According to the indictment, Laikin hired stock promoters to buy National Lampoon shares, as well as bribing other brokers to buy shares. Knowing that, Laikin’s final comments to us make a lot more sense: He asked if we were planning on buying any shares for ourselves.