Former Baltimore radio talk show host Alan Christian has been charged with misappropriating more than $675,000 in funds that almost 800 listeners sent to him to form a radio network company.
Christian also was charged in papers filed by the Maryland attorney general's office with selling unregistered securities as part of an effort to raise money for Atlantic Coast Radio Inc. in 1988 and 1989.
Also charged was Grace M. Starmer, once a vice president of Atlantic Coast Radio.
Christian and Starmer are to be arraigned Oct. 12 in Baltimore Circuit Court.
The charges against Christian stemmed from an investigation by the state Division of Securities amid allegations that Christian was marketing the shares without obtaining approval by the state securities commissioner. Christian was also allegedly using unlicensed sales people to sell the shares.
Last November, the Division of Securities, which is part of the state attorney general's office, froze Christian's assets and ordered him to stop selling the shares.
Christian yesterday declined to comment on the charges through his attorney, Barry J.C. Kissin, of Frederick. Kissin said Christian is residing in the metropolitan area.
In a civil case stemming from the same incidents, Christian last year admitted the violations, although he said at the time he had no knowledge that he was violating state law.
Christian, Starmer and a third associate, Dale Andrews, all agreed after the civil case to place control of the insolvent Atlantic Coast Radio Inc. in the jurisdiction of a state receiver.
Christian halted his broadcasts in January by telling listeners he needed time to develop unspecified financial deals before returning to the air.
Les Kinsolving, a former radio colleague of Christian, said he was surprised to learn of the criminal charges.
"I'm terribly sorry that all of these things have happened," Kinsolving said. "For all the people who lost money, I have compassion. He owes me $20,000 so I'm the biggest creditor."