Backpage Seized By Government

April of 2018, agencies from the federal government took over Backpage.com. They proceeded afterwards to arrest and put in jail the former owners of the site. Those owners were Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. Mr. Lacy had just gotten married and was planning a party at his home when the arrest happened. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikepedia

The invasion was an armed one by the FBI and happened during a celebration him and his wife were preparing for. Witnesses to the arrest told a newspaper publication that the agents proceeded to carry out his possessions once the rest was completed.

Raid Of Larkin’s Home

At the same time, government agents also raided the home of Lacey’s business partner on Backpage.com, Jim Larkin. The two men have worked together for many years and even sold a company called Village Voice Media together back in 2012. They did this to retain interest on the site they ran together. In addition to the raids, the government also seized the website.

The reason behind the government seizing the website is due to the fact that there have been many allegations over the years that the site was being ran as a type of online brothel that facilitated sex trafficking. Because of this, both Lacey and Larkin sold their interest in the website to the CEO in 2015. Along with these two men, there are five other individuals being brought in on the 93-count indictment.

Who Is Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey?

Mr. Larkin is a native of Phoenix Arizona and a dropout of Arizona State. He teamed up with Michael Lacey in 1972 to create the Phoenix New Times. It was a weekly campus newspaper created to offer responses to the conservative coverage of anti-war protests students were doing in the area.

Lacey was born the son of a hard-working construction worker. In the 1960s, he moved west from New Jersey to attend Arizona State with Jim. This is where the two began their long-lasting friendship and many business partnerships.

The Beginning Of Frontera Fund

In October 2007, deputies from the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office arrested both Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey. The two had been arrested because of a story they covered in their Phoenix New Times newspaper which stated that they knew about an assault that had happened.

The revelation spoke about the sheriff’s allies issuing grand jury subpoenas to find out the details about the newspapers editors, writers and readers.

However, instead of Lacey and Larkin giving in to the subpoenas, they wrote about it instead. When fellow jail mates asked why they had been arrested, they simply told them they were arrested for writing.

The pair were only in jail for a little over 24 hours. Across the nation there were many crying out about them being arresting unlawful. All of the charges that were originally brought against them were dropped.

The court decided that their subpoenas were invalid because certain legal procedures were sidestepped and the two were arrested with no probable cause. They later came to receive an almost $4 million settlement from the court system and the sheriff’s Office.