Canadian retail magnate Peter Nygard is being indicted for allegedly running a sex-trafficking ring.
Federal prosecutors are also bringing Nygard up on charges of racketeering and other crimes against women, the New York Times reported. The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said over a 25-year period, Nygard used the power of his company “to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for NYGARD’s sexual gratification and the sexual gratification of his friends and business associates.”
Nygard allegedly paid his victims for sex using “Nygard Group funds, including by putting ‘girlfriends’ on the payroll of Nygard Group entities as ‘models,’ ‘assistants,’ or in other positions,” according to a release from the prosecutors. The company is also said to have used its resources to conceal crimes by intimidating and threatening victims with reputational harm.
The 79-year-old resigned as chairman of his eponymous firm in February, following raids by federal agents and the New York Police Department of Nygard International’s New York City and Los Angeles offices.
In August, he was sued by his two sons, who claim their father arranged for them to have sex with one of his “girlfriends” when they were 14 or 15 years old.
Nygard founded his fashion business in Winnipeg, Canada, 50 years ago. He was arrested there on Monday, at the request of the U.S., and is facing extradition. His attorney declined to comment to the Times.
[NYT] — Danielle Balbi