| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 13 U.S. prosecutors on Thursday
charged the son of a former United Parcel Service Inc executive
with impersonating his father to fraudulently obtain millions of
dollars that was intended to finance the purchase of Maxim
magazine last year.
Calvin Darden Jr., 39, faces two counts of wire fraud for
his role in an elaborate scheme involving fake emails and bank
statements to obtain more than $8 million and attempt to secure
another $20 million, the prosecutors said.
Darden was arrested Wednesday after what a prosecutor
described as a manhunt. He is the son of Calvin Darden Sr., a
former vice president of U.S. operations at UPS.
A lawyer for Darden, Xavier Donaldson, declined to comment.
His father did not respond to requests for comment.
In September, Alpha Media Group Inc, which is
partially owned by Cerberus Capital Management,
announced an agreement to sell Maxim to Darden Media Group, a
company headed by Calvin Darden Sr. It was unclear from court
documents whether Darden Jr. was involved in that deal, which
did not go through.
According to a criminal complaint, the younger Darden last
year 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 a
Darden's father serves on the board of directors of Target
Corp, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc and Cardinal
After the lender put $5.5 million in escrow, Darden sent a
fake email to the law firm holding the money authorizing the
release of the funds, according to the complaint.
As a result, the law firm, which was also unidentified,
released $4.9 million of the funds, which was to be used toward
the purchase of the men's magazine company, the complaint said.
A second lender provided $3 million on the belief its loan
was secured by the same stock after also receiving a bogus
account statement, according to charging documents.
Darden attempted to get $20 million from a third lender,
which by December 2013 had agreed to be involved in the possible
transaction as long as a cable channel was created based on
Maxim's content, the complaint said.
Darden, from the New York City borough of Staten Island,
also tricked a Taiwanese company into paying him $500,000 after
falsely claiming he would arrange an exhibition match by the New
York Knicks basketball team, authorities said.
"Everyone deserves the right to make an honest living, but
not by lying, cheating, or at the expense of others," FBI
Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said in a
James Pastore, an assistant U.S. attorney, called the case
"an audacious fraud. A search of Darden's home uncovered
documents that appeared related to "other similar frauds," he
"We have the possibility of more victims," Pastore said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck set bail at $1 million and
ordered home detention. Prosecutors had argued that Darden
should be held in jail as a flight risk and danger to the
Pastore said that Darden led the FBI on a manhunt on
Wednesday, a day after authorities contacted his wife.
Darden wasn't at home when the FBI went to arrest him
shortly after 6 a.m., then lied by claiming he was in Long
Island when he was in a New Jersey hotel, Pastore said.
Agents who arrived at the hotel found Darden's car
abandoned, Pastore said. Darden later surrendered.
Darden faces a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted.
This is not the first time Darden has faced criminal
charges. In 2005, the former stock broker pleaded guilty to New
York state charges that he stole almost $6 million from 11
Darden was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. He was
released in September 2008 and returned to jail in August 2010
for less than two months due to a parole violation, a
spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Corrections