In 2005, a man by the name of Calvin Darden Jr. was arrested and convicted of grand larceny. He had been accused of stealing $11 million that corporate and individual clients had given him to invest as a stockbroker. After serving four years in prison for these charges, he is now facing up to 20 years in prison for new charges. It’s alleged that Darden Jr. was willing to defraud $28 million from lenders in order to get his hands on Maxim.
Maxim magazine is an international men’s magazine that features popular actresses, singers, and female models. Calvin Darden Jr., 39 years old, the son of UPS’s former Vice President, tried to establish the funds to buy Maxim. In doing so, Darden fraudulently obtained $28 million from various donors. Darden is a former stockbroker from Staten Island who was previously convicted of stealing money from celebrity investors. Darden was arrested Wednesday on two wire fraud charges stemming from two separate cases in which authorities say he impersonated his father or falsely represented his business interests.
In September 2013, a company headed by Darden Sr. attempted to buy Maxim from Alpha Media Group Inc. However, that deal did not go through at that time. Subsequently after it fell through, Darden Jr. provided a fake bank account statement to an unidentified lender that showed stock holdings by his father in at least three companies for which the senior Darden served as director. This lender then proceeded to put $5.5 million in escrow. Darden Jr. is alleged to have then sent a fake email to the law firm holding the money, authorizing the release of the funds; the law firm released $4.9 million of the funds.
A second lender provided $3 million on the belief its loan was secured by the same stock after receiving similar bogus statements. Even after the initial $7.9 million, the scheme continued with a third lender; Darden attempted to get $20 million once the third lender agreed to be involved in the transaction as long as a cable channel was created based on Maxim’s content.
Wire fraud is the federal crime of intentionally planning, creating or carrying out a scheme to defraud others using the Internet, phone, radio, or television. Charges involving the Internet may include the use of e-mail or websites. Darden Jr. was allegedly using email to maintain contact with these lenders throughout the scheme.
After Darden’s arrest, he made his first appearance in court Thursday where a judge set a $1 million bond. The judge also ordered that should he make bond, Darden must remain under home incarceration with electronic monitoring. If convicted, Darden faces up to 20 years in prison.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, Prosecutors say Staten Island man’s plan to purchase Maxim was a fraud, Sean Gardiner, 2/13/14