NEW YORK, N.Y. – A lawyer was convicted of fraud Monday in a case accusing him of helping a convicted con man in a ruse to borrow millions of dollars for a failed bid to buy Maxim magazine.
A jury found attorney Harvey Newkirk guilty of one count of wire fraud but acquitted him on conspiracy and identity theft counts. The mixed verdict was reached following a trial in federal court in Manhattan.
Newkirk, 39, was arrested earlier this year after Calvin Darden Jr. pleaded guilty to charges he used his prominent father’s name to lure lenders into providing backing to buy Maxim, a men’s lifestyle magazine known for its photos of scantily clad female models, singers and actresses.
Calvin Darden Sr. is a board member at Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and Target Corp. and a former senior vice-president for operations at UPS Inc.
Prosecutors alleged that Newkirk helped Calvin Darden Jr. provide fake bank account statements and emails to lenders to borrow more than $8 million and that they were attempting to secure another $20 million when the scheme unraveled. At trial, Darden testified for the government that Newkirk helped him forge documents that falsely claimed his father would provide collateral.
The defence argued that Newkirk was also duped by Darden and in the dark about the fraud. The deal never went through and the magazine was sold to another buyer.
Newkirk’s sentencing was set for April 14.
This story has been corrected to show that one of the counts Newkirk was acquitted of was identity theft, not wire fraud.