Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, who are best known for their time at the Phoenix New Times, can’t seem to keep themselves out of trouble.
First they had their first amendment rights violated by Joe Arpaio; now they are having their websites seized by the FBI.
Back in 2007, Michael and Jim were arrested after snooping into the business of Joe Arpaio, the corrupt Sheriff of Maricopa County. This arrest lead to a lawsuit that ended in favor of the Phoenix New Times journalists. They were awarded $3.75 million for the constitutional violation. This event lead to the creation of The Frontera Fund, a charitable organization that operates out of Arizona. With The Frontera Fund, Lacey and Larkin provide assistance to Hispanics in the area. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
This wasn’t the last of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s legal issues. Back in April of 2018, the Federal Government seized the domain Backpage.com. Backpage was a site similar to Craigslist. Backpage had sales pages, personal ads, and much more. Although Craigslist is still operational, Backpage is down. The feds say that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were profiting off of prostitution.
Several individuals were charged with crimes when Backpage.com was seized. One peculiar thing to take note of is the fact that CEO Carl Ferrer was not charged. Despite allegations of profiting off prostitution, no one has been charged with sex trafficking. In addition to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, John Brunst and Scott Spear were also charged with crimes. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
Michael Lacey was supposed to be celebrating his marriage when he was arrested. In fact, the party had already been planned to take place the following Saturday at his Paradise Valley residence. Instead, the veteran journalist spent Saturday talking to police officers in a federal detention center.
The FBI swarmed Lacey’s home, as if he was a drug kingpin, and put him in handcuffs. Michael Lacey’s possessions, according to witnesses, were also carried away with the police forces.
FBI agents also raided the home of Jim Larkin, who also lives in Paradise Valley. Both Larkin and Lacey were taken into custody over the domain seizure.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were the previous owners of Village Voice Media, a huge conglomerate of digital assets. In total, seventeen newspapers were ran by Village Voice Media. However, in 2012 the duo sold their stake in Village Voice Media, only retaining Backpage.
They are now back in the journalism business with their new paper Front Page Confidential.