Stock broker Calvin Darden's gift of gab gave him access to millions from Nelly, Latrell Sprewell and other entertainers and business bigwigs. Now facing up to 50 years in prison on charges of grand larceny in the first degree, Darden's lawyers are the only ones talking.
June 21, Judge Renee White of the New York State Supreme Court presented the defendant seated in front of her, Calvin Ramarro Darden Jr. with some decidedly unfavorable options: If he could come up with $5.7 million in restitution, the Manhattan District Attorney would consider a 6-18 year sentence in state prison; if he can only find $4 million, he could face up to 45 years.
Darden, a strapping 30-year-old with soft features and a sweet face sat almost motionless, turning to look only when someone entered or left the courtroom. Moments earlier, heï¿½d looked bewildered and haggard as he was led into the courtroom in a brown button down shirt with yellow and orange vertical stripes and workaday baggy blue jeans. For a man whoï¿½d prided himself on wearing the finest name brand gear, showing up to court in clothes that looked slept-in was a step down. But no one could predict that a man with Dardenï¿½s pedigree would become a statistic of the criminal justice system.
For four years, Calvin Ramarro Darden Jr., investor of choice for Nelly, Latrell Sprewell and several other rappers and athletes, had the world by the balls. He pimped an invite-only American Express Centurion Card. He flew first class and traveled by limo when he touched down. At home, his garage housed an Infiniti SUV, Lamborghini Murcielago, Yamaha Motorcycle and a Mercedes-Benz CL600 Coupe. Even his homes were name brand: the Legend and the Newswalk, an exclusive Brooklyn loft condo for when he was ï¿½working late.ï¿½ As the man who has long promoted this extravagant lifestyle might say, it looked like he was trying to keep up with the Combses.