As Michael Lacey and his wife were preparing for a celebration party for their marriage, law-enforcement officers went to their Paradise Valley home and arrested Mr. Lacey. The federal agents also arrested Jim Larkin, a longtime business partner of Lacey. In 2012, the two men sold the chain which is currently referred to as Village Voice Media. Learn more about James Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/recent-news/ and https://angel.co/jim-larkin-1
However, they made an agreement that Backpage.com would be separated for the deal thus retaining the interest. Alongside the raids, Backpage was also seized. This was a result of accumulated allegations that the company is an online brothel that promotes and simplifies sex trafficking. In 2015, they sold their Backpage interest to Carl Ferrer.
In 2017, Larkin and Lacey founded the Front Page Confidential with the aim of providing information on First Amendment analysis and news.
The government’s attempt to destroy the website, as well as their arrests are assaults on the freedom of the press. Paul Cambria, Lacey’s criminal defense lawyer, shared with Front Page Confidential that Mr. Lacey would be going to court for a hearing. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
The following week, Larkin was going to see a magistrate. As a professional in First Amendment jurisprudence who constantly defended Larry Flynt and succeeded, Mr. Cambria stated that his client would not plead guilty to all the charges. He continued to say that he was going to seek his immediate release as the detention was inappropriate.
Cambria also condemned the FBI for facilitating the takedown of Backpage as it once hosted advertisements for antiques and yard sales. Each time the government closes down a significant form of speech, Paul Cambria said that it causes a chilling effect. He believes that the actions adopted by the government are not constitutional thus willing to put up a fight with them in search of justice.
Back in 2007, Lacey and Larkin had been illegally detained following the orders of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The final ruling of the case concluded that Arpaio and his department arrested the two as a result of criticizing their deeds in the Phoenix New Times.
Therefore, Maricopa County paid them $3.75 million to settle their lawsuit with the sheriff. Using these funds, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin founded the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund’s objective is to provide migrant grants to related organizations in Arizona. They support non-profit groups which fight for the rights of Latinos and Hispanics.
Since President Trump pardoned Arpaio even after all the damage he caused, corporations such as the Frontera Fund are playing significant roles in fighting against his atrocious legacy.
Jim and Michael are also returning to the journalism industry with the Front Page Confidential website which covers free speech threats, as well as the First Amendment.