Peter Nygard, founder of Canadian fashion empire Nygard International, was arrested on U.S. charges in Winnipeg on Monday.
As of Friday morning, a Canadian judge has denied Nygard bail. Justice Shawn Greenberg stated that although the accused is not considered a flight risk, she is not confident Nygard would refrain from contacting witnesses. Nygard has been in custody in Canada since mid-December under the Extradition Act, with U.S. charges involving nine counts, including sex trafficking. Allegations involve trafficking of women and girls through promises involving money and opportunities in the fashion industry.
Over 80 women across Canada, the United States and the Bahamas have joined a class action lawsuit asserting that Nygard has used his influence, as well as acts of fraud and coercion to gain sexual favours for himself and business associates. As of this writing, no charges have been proven and the accused is presumed innocent. Lawyers for Nygard state that he has lost all of his money and that his company has filed for bankruptcy in Canada and in the United States. Last year federal authorities raided Nygard’s home in Los Angeles and corporate headquarters in New York.
Now that bail has been denied, U.S. authorities have until February 12th to make a formal request for Nygard’s extradition. Once the request is processed, the federal department of justice in Canada will have 30 days to decide whether to accept the request. Nygard has denied all accusations levied in the indictment, stating the women involved in the lawsuit are lying as part of a conspiracy to ruin Nygard’s reputation.
ARTICLE: ARMIN FOROUZAN
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BUSINESS INSIDER