Peter Nygard, a Canadian retail mogul, has been held for over 25 years on charges of sexually assaulting underage women and girls.
On Monday, December 14, Mr. Nygard, 79, was arrested by Canadian police over charges that he used his brand to draw suspected victims to his Bahamas estate with offers of modeling and fashion work.
The indictment unsealed on Tuesday, said the suspected offences emerged, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, ‘out of a decades-long history of illegal activity involving at least thousands of suspects in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada, among other places.’
The fashion mogul exploited women and girls under 18 from poor economic backgrounds who also had a history of violence, the court records allege.
Nygard is being accused of an attempt “through giving threats, failed promises of helping with modelling opportunities and other career upliftment, support financially, and by other coercive way, not even limited to frequent surveillance, movement restrictions and physical isolation” to be able to monitor his victims.
Fifty-seven women are identified in the court records, including 18 Canadians. When Mr. Nygard trafficked them to “pamper parties” and plied them with drugs and alcohol in order to exploit them, they alleged they were only 14 or 15.
“we’re relieved that some level of transparency is most likely coming forth, however we’d miss again if we didn’t state that this is something that could have been done decades ago”
He has been charged by US officials with racketeering and human trafficking. He now faces being extradited over the charges to the US.
Mr Nygard, who has denied the allegations, puts the blame on a conspiracy resulting from a disagreement with his neighbour in the Bahamas. He is currently held in Winnipeg Remand Centre under the Extradition Act with a court appearance happening soon.
He has been an investigation main focus by the child exploitation FBI task force and New York police since 2019.
He has relieved himself as his company chairman this February.
The fashion mogul has been estimated to worth over $700m (£538m).