Lawyer Charged With Fraud Over Failed Maxim Buy

Would-Be Buyer Admitted to Posing as His Father to Trick Lenders

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New York lawyer Harvey Newkirk has been charged with wire fraud in connection with a failed bid to raise $8 million dollars to purchase Maxim magazine.

According to a complaint by the U.S. government, Mr. Newkirk lied about having assets and collateral while persuading two victims to provide the money and then misrepresented that he and others secured funding for the magazine purchase to an investment adviser representing a lender.

Mr. Newkirk allegedly conspired in the scheme with Calvin Darden Jr., son of Darden Media Group Chairman Calvin Darden Sr., said a person familiar with the case who wasn't authorized to speak about it. The U.S. only referred to a co-conspirator in the complaint.

The duo also tried to raise at least $20 million from a third person, according to the complaint.

A lawyer for Newkirk couldn't be immediately located for comment.

The younger Mr. Darden, an ex-Wall Street stockbroker, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in November and admitted to posing as his father in e-mails and phone calls to trick lenders into providing funding for the magazine purchase, U.S. prosecutors said. He's scheduled to be sentenced April 3.

In a lawsuit filed in 2014, Alpha Media Group sued Darden Media Group for damages over the failed Maxim magazine purchase. In the suit, Newkirk, was listed as counsel for the defendants with respect to the Maxim transaction.

Mr. Newkirk is scheduled to appear in federal court in Manhattan later today and may face as long as 20 years in prison if convicted of wire fraud, according to the U.S. He's also charged with wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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