The FBI has seized Backpage.com. Users who visit the website hoping to purchase a used item were greeted with a big FBI seizure notice instead of a list of local used items.
Shortly after the website was seized, several prominent businessmen involve in Backpage were arrested and charged with crimes. Two of the people arrested were Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the former co-owners of Village Voice Media.
You may have heard of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey before. Back in 2007 the two journalists were arrested by Joe Arpaio. Ultimately, nothing came of the arrest. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were released from custody, eventually taking home a settlement after a judge ruled Joe Arpaio had violated their first amendment rights. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin decided to enter the world of philanthropy by using this settlement to create The Frontera Fund, a charitable organization that aims to help the Hispanic population of Arizona. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://angel.co/jim-larkin-1 and https://thenewsversion.com/2018/03/larkin-lacey-speak-happened-joe-arpaio/
However, this arrest may be more serious for Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Charges include conspiracy, profiting from prostitution, and money laundering. The charges stem from the fact that some individuals attempted to sell themselves by using Backpage, a website that operates similarly to Craigslist.
The FBI was serious when they raided the homes of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The event can be described as a drug kingpin bust. Which is strange considering Lacey and Larkin are both in their 70s and are simple newspapermen.
When the arrest took place, Michael Lacey had just finished planning his wedding celebration. Freshly married, Michael Lacey intended on spending the weekend wit hhis wife at his Paradise Valley home. Instead, he spent the weekend in jail talking to investigators and being interrogated. Lacey’s home in Sedona was also raided.
Michael Lacey’s long time business partner, Jim Larkin, was also arrested. His home was also subjugated to search and seizure. Witnesses of the raids report that the police took assets from the home as well. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Michael Lacey | LinkedIn
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin formally owned the Phoenix New Times and 16 other newspapers all over the country. In 2012 they began the process of selling off all assets owned by Village Voice Media, the parent company of these 17 newspapers. One of the few assets that remained their property was Backpage.
Now, with Front Page Confidential, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have reentered the newspaper industry. Front Page Confidential is the go to place to keep up with the legal battles of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.