Backpage founder Jim Larkin committed suicide this week ahead of his federal trial.
Larkin, 74, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Larkin took his life on Monday ahead of his criminal trial for facilitating prostitution and money laundering with his online ‘classified ads’ website Backpage.com.
In 2018, the Justice Department seized Backpage.com and charged 7 individuals, including Larkin, with a 93-count federal indictment.
“The seven defendants charged in the indictment are Michael Lacey, 69, of Paradise Valley, Arizona; James Larkin, 68, of Paradise Valley, Arizona; Scott Spear, 67, of Scottsdale, Arizona; John E. “Jed” Brunst, 66, of Phoenix, Arizona; Daniel Hyer, 49, of Dallas, Texas; Andrew Padilla, 45, of Plano, Texas and Jaala Joye Vaught, 37, of Addison, Texas.” the DOJ said.
“The Justice Department today announced the seizure of Backpage.com, the Internet’s leading forum for prostitution ads, including ads depicting the prostitution of children. Additionally, seven individuals have been charged in a 93-count federal indictment with the crimes of conspiracy to facilitate prostitution using a facility in interstate or foreign commerce, facilitating prostitution using a facility in interstate or foreign commerce, conspiracy to commit money laundering, concealment money laundering, international promotional money laundering, and transactional money laundering.” the DOJ said in 2018.
Larkin is survived by his wife and their 6 kids.
The Phoenix New Times reported:
Phoenix New Times co-founder and legendary Arizona publisher Jim Larkin died on Monday. He was 74.
Larkin, who lived in Paradise Valley with his wife Molly, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Superior near Boyce Thompson Arboretum, according to the Superior Police Department. No foul play is suspected in his death, police said.
A police incident report about the suicide was not available on Wednesday.
Larkin’s death came a week before the scheduled start of his criminal trial in federal court. In 2018, prosecutors charged Larkin and New Times co-founder Michael Lacey with a host of crimes related to their former ownership of Backpage, the now-defunct online classified ad site.
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