Toronto — For years, Peter Nygard presented himself as a story of shabby wealth. He built a fashion empire from nothing, collided with the Canadian Prime Minister, traveled between luxury homes on a private jet, and was surrounded by women. His age. And he claims to be the modern Juan Ponce de Leon, who has found a fountain of youth through diet, exercise and regular stem cell infusions.
But at a court in Manitoba this week, his lawyer presented a very different photo of a 79-year-old prisoner, who is now facing a transfer to the United States and is seeking bail. He is old, sick, broken, lonely, he has been suffering for over a month, and he dies in a prison where the coronavirus is raging.
In his affidavit, Nygård has stated in his affidavit since his arrest: I lost weight. Dyspnea (worse); I have been suffering from dizziness, fainting spells, and numbness in my hands and toes. “
He added that prison food full of sugar and carbs cut from the diet made him “severely ill.”
His lawyer proposed calling Mr. Nygård’s release “solid,” but after the judge stated that she had “serious problems” with the plan, especially one guarantor. I agreed to postpone the proceedings for a week. As a result, Nygård’s lawyer was able to reorganize and draft Plan B.
Nygård is guilty of sexual trafficking, assault plots and other crimes involving dozens of women and teenage girls. A nine-count federal indictment filed by the Federal Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in December states that fashion tycoons have used his company’s influence, money, and employees for 25 years for adults and “underage women.” He accuses him of recruiting “victims.” USA, Bahamas and Canada for his sexual satisfaction and that of his companions.
At the request of the United States, police arrested Mr. Nygård in Winnipeg, Manitoba on December 14, and since then he has been in jail awaiting the start of delivery court proceedings.
At this week’s bail hearing, Mr. Nygård’s lawyer suggested living alone in Winnipeg under house arrest and at the house paid last September with regular check-in and a GPS ankle bracelet.
Nygård, who appeared in court with a video camera from prison, looked like his former shadow. He wore a stained glass T-shirt. His trademark hair was usually tied to a silver mane and tied to a simple loaf of bread. His face, broadcast on a huge screen, was covered with a blue medical mask.
Until last year, Mr. Nygård was responsible for a multinational women’s fashion company called Nygård International, which he personally owned and built from scratch. Known primarily for selling leggings and tops to middle-aged women through its own outlets and department stores, it had 12,000 employees at its peak.
Nygård resigned after federal officials raided his home in Los Angeles and his headquarters in New York last February. His company then filed for bankruptcy in Canada and the United States.
None of his ten children appeared in court to ensure that he would comply with bail terms. Instead, according to his lawyer Jay Prober, two former employees who “know Mr. Nygård best” provided their property as collateral. Together, they were worth about $ 950,000. This is just one of the wealth that Nygård once showed off, estimated by Canadian Business in 2014 to be $ 750 million.
Mr. Prober said this was “the best thing he could do” because Mr. Nygård was no longer able to access the money.
The problem quickly surfaced to two men who offered to ensure that Mr. Nygård remained under house arrest. One of them, Steve Mager, has been convicted twice of cocaine trafficking and previously belonged to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, according to court records. Another Greg Fenceke, a board member of Nygård International, was portrayed by the prosecution as a plot by Mr. Nygård, shuffling the money of a mogul when his company went bankrupt. At one point, Fenceke overpaid California’s utility bills for $ 60,000 and demanded that it be repaid to another Nygård company that had not filed for bankruptcy.
During the interrogation, Fenceke admitted that a grand jury in a federal district court in Manhattan had deleted more than 1,000 documents after summoning company files in February, and Nigard International lawyers gave managers all records. I instructed to save.
“There were a lot of problems with his evidence,” added Judge Shawn Greenberg, adding that the deletion of the email was not to mention another large remittance she felt “very suspicious.” Pointed out as evidence of non-compliance with legal orders.
Judges said Fenceke didn’t have a “game skin”, given that the $ 710,000 house he provided as collateral was the same one he bought in September with Nygård’s money. At that time, I asked him how to be a good guarantor for Mr. Nygård. ..
At the hearing, Mr. Fenceke said he was supporting his former boss because he “believed in Mr. Nygård’s innocence.” Since last spring, Mr. Fenceke has managed the company’s bankruptcy issue for free, he said.
Government prosecutor Scott Farlinger argued that Nygård was a serious flight risk of access to money from his tangled company, many of which were not part of bankruptcy proceedings. The prosecution also pointed out Mr. Nygård’s history in the Bahamas. There he was convicted of both contempt of court and contempt of court. In 2019, the judge issued an arrest warrant.
According to court documents, police searched Nygård’s assistant’s phone and found that “at least in April 2020, Nygård was considering a trip to Malta or Bermuda.” “We are considering logistics to travel by another name,” he said.
Mr. Nygård’s lawyer argued that if his plan escaped, he would have done so when he learned that the FBI was investigating him last year, but instead he revoked his passport. In any case, “At Covid, there’s nowhere to go,” Prober said.
Nygård’s lawyer claimed that the pandemic made it difficult to plan with clients in prisons where the virus had infected 213 prisoners since March last year. The illness also formed the heart of the debate that their clients were released on bail.
Just two years ago, Nygård played in a beach volleyball tournament and painted his image on the Winnipeg sign. But now he has described himself as an ideal target for the disease — an old and frail with many comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and fluctuations in blood pressure.
For now, he will stay in jail for at least another week. His next court appointment is scheduled for January 28th.
“Nygård is fighting for his life,” said Richard Walson, another lawyer on behalf of Mr. Nygård. “His health is a downward spiral.”
Kim Wheeler contributed to the report from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In court, Peter Nygard’s lawyer does not meet the judge’s bail requirements
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