Peter Nygard, the Canadian vogue government, has been charged with intercourse trafficking, racketeering conspiracy and different crimes that concerned dozens of ladies and teenage ladies as victims in america, the Bahamas and Canada, federal prosecutors in Manhattan stated on Tuesday.
Mr. Nygard, 79, used his firm’s affect, its cash and its workers to recruit grownup and “minor-aged feminine victims” over a 25-year interval for the sexual gratification of him and his associates, in response to a nine-count federal indictment. He was arrested in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Monday on the request of america below an extradition treaty, the U.S. legal professional’s workplace in Manhattan stated. He’s now being held in a Manitoba jail.
The indictment accused Mr. Nygard of concentrating on victims from deprived financial backgrounds and, in some instances, with a historical past of abuse. Mr. Nygard sexually assaulted some, it stated, whereas his associates assaulted or drugged others “to make sure their compliance with Nygard’s sexual calls for.”
Jay Prober, the style mogul’s lawyer in Winnipeg, denied the fees in opposition to his consumer, saying he anticipated Mr. Nygard to be vindicated. His lawyer in New York, Elkan Abramowitz, declined to remark.
As not too long ago as two years in the past, Mr. Nygard plastered his picture on billboards round Winnipeg — sporting a decent shirt that exposed glistening biceps and flowing hair. In courtroom in Winnipeg on Tuesday, he appeared weak and shaky, sporting a sweatshirt and his hair in a messy bun. Chains certain his wrists and ankles.
He was ordered to be held pending additional courtroom proceedings. A bail listening to was scheduled for Jan. 13, however Mr. Prober stated he deliberate to hunt a listening to as early as subsequent week. Though Canadian courts often grant extradition to america, the method can take years.
In February, The New York Times detailed how a protracted, ugly feud between Mr. Nygard and his neighbor within the Bahamas led to a lawsuit accusing Mr. Nygard of sexually assaulting minors there. Within the article, dozens of ladies and former workers described how alleged victims had been lured to Mr. Nygard’s residence.
The struggle between Mr. Nygard and his neighbor, Louis Bacon, a hedge fund billionaire, sophisticated issues. Two of the ladies who initially stated Mr. Nygard raped them later recanted, saying they had been paid to manufacture their claims.
For years, Mr. Nygard blamed Mr. Bacon for any allegations in opposition to him. However The Instances documented a sample of complaints stretching again 4 a long time, effectively earlier than the feud, and confirmed how Mr. Nygard used his cash and threats to silence his alleged victims.
The indictment options a number of the similar allegations because the lawsuit, which was filed in New York in February. Greater than 80 girls have signed on as plaintiffs.
Tamika Ferguson, a plaintiff within the lawsuit, stated Mr. Nygard raped her in 2004 throughout a celebration at his residence, when she was 16. She stated she was overwhelmed after studying in regards to the indictment.
“I really feel one of the best I’ve felt in a very long time,” she stated on Tuesday.
April Telek, 47, a Canadian actress, stated she was raped and held in opposition to her will by Mr. Nygard in 1993, after going to his firm’s Winnipeg warehouse for a modeling job. She can also be a part of the lawsuit and has given an announcement to the Winnipeg police, however has not been contacted by American authorities.
“If he will get put away, that’s the place he belongs,” Ms. Telek stated. “I don’t care if it’s my case or any of the opposite poor victims that he has traumatized over the previous 40 years.”
The costs in opposition to Mr. Nygard had been introduced on Tuesday by the U.S. legal professional’s workplace, the F.B.I. and the New York Police Division. The Instances reported in February that the investigation was being performed by a joint baby exploitation activity pressure.
A courtroom affidavit by the Canadian authorities filed in Winnipeg stated that Mr. Nygard’s victims included ladies aged 14 to 17, and that his felony conduct had affected tons of. It described “methods of psychological management” wherein victims had been “always surveilled” and had “little to no management over their potential to depart premises with out Nygard’s permission.”
Federal authorities beforehand investigated Mr. Nygard on allegations of intercourse trafficking between 2015 and 2017 with out submitting any expenses. The F.B.I. performed two temporary inquiries, whereas the Division of Homeland Safety investigated him for 9 months.
For many years, Mr. Nygard portrayed himself as a playboy, describing the younger girls and teenage ladies he surrounded himself with as “the supply of youth,” in response to a video he produced about his makes an attempt to struggle getting older. He dated celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith and fathered not less than 10 kids with eight girls. Born in Finland, he grew up in Canada, launching his multinational vogue firm, Nygard Worldwide, in Winnipeg greater than 50 years in the past.
He divided his time between Canada, america and the Bahamas, the place he constructed a sprawling Mayan-themed compound, with sculptures of animal predators and bare girls, that he described because the “Eighth Surprise of the World.”
The indictment charged that Mr. Nygard used the prospect of modeling and different vogue trade jobs to lure girls and teenage ladies. It stated that he additionally he used firm funds to pay for so-called pamper events. There, workers informed The Instances, he recruited victims with free drinks, manicures and massages.
He pressured dozens of victims to interact in “business intercourse,” outlined in federal legislation as any intercourse act carried out in change for one thing of worth, and used threats and guarantees to grant or withhold modeling alternatives or monetary assist to take care of management, the indictment stated.
Nygard Worldwide, a privately held firm that after claimed to make use of 12,000 individuals, is understood primarily for promoting leggings and tops to middle-age girls via its personal shops and shops in Canada and america.
Mr. Nygard, estimated to be value roughly $750 million in 2014 by Canadian Business magazine, was recognized to mix his skilled and private lives. He constructed lavish flats in his workplace buildings. A 1980 information article described an space of his Winnipeg workplace as a “ardour pit” with a mirrored ceiling and a sofa that reworked right into a mattress on the “push of a button.”
He stepped down from his firm in February, after federal authorities raided his residence in Los Angeles and company headquarters in New York, and main clients just like the division retailer chain Dillard’s dropped his vogue strains. In March, the corporate filed for chapter in Canada and in america.
William Ok. Rashbaum and Kim Wheeler contributed reporting.