Peter Nygard, the CEO of now-defunct fashion company Nygard International, has been arrested and charged with sex trafficking and racketeering after being extradited from Canada to the United States on Monday.
According to an indictment that was filed on November 23, Nygard, 79, has been accused of using his fortune and influence to “recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims” over the last 25 years for the “sexual gratification” of himself and “his friends and business associates.” The indictment was not made public until Tuesday after the tycoon was taken into U.S. custody.
Nygard and his associates are accused of sexually assaulting and drugging their victims. According to NPR, the magnate appeared to have targeted women and minors from “disadvantaged backgrounds,” and those with a history of abuse. The indictment also states that Nygard maintained relationships with several of his victims, whom he called “girlfriends.” He required these “girlfriends” to travel and engage in sexual activity with him and allegedly controlled them through “force, fraud and coercion.” Additionally, some of these “girlfriends” were listed on his international company’s payroll as assistants or models.
In February of 2020, the FBI and NYPD raided Nygard International’s New York offices as part of the investigation into the allegations against the fashion financier. The company filed for bankruptcy a month later.
Nygard’s lawyer, Jay Prober, denied all charges against the fashion mogul, despite several women who have come forward and accused Nygard of his crimes throughout the years. Although a bail hearing is set for January 13, Prober is seeking a hearing as early as next week.