Fashion mogul Peter Nygard arrested, charged with sex trafficking, racketeering

Peter Nygard
Images source Peter Nygard via Twitter

Fashion Mogul Peter Nygard has been arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Winnipeg on Monday night. He is facing nine counts of criminal charges including sex trafficking and racketeering in the United States.

The RCMP took the 79-year-old Nygard into custody after the United States requested Canada to issue a Provisional Arrest  Warrant under the extradition treaty between the two countries.

Nygard is the founder of Nygard Group, an international clothing design, manufacturing, and supply business headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. He was the chairman of the firm until February 2020. He resigned from his position after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the company’s headquarters as part of the law enforcement agency’s investigation into the allegations by multiple women that he is engaged in sex trafficking.

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According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the charges against the Finish Canadian fashion mogul were connected to his “decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada” and other locations.

Allegations against Peter Nygard

In the indictment, U.S. prosecutors alleged that for 25 years,  Nygard used his company’s influence, employees, funds, and other resources to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for his sexual gratification as well as the sexual gratification of his friends and business associates.

Nygard and his co-conspirators including Nygard Group’s employees allegedly used force, fraud, and coercion to cause women and minors to have sex with him and others.

The Finnish-Canadian fashion mogul allegedly frequently targeted women and minor-aged girls who had a history of abuse or those who came from disadvantaged economic backgrounds.

Nygard allegedly controlled his victims by threatening them, falsely promising modeling opportunities, financial support, and by other coercive means including constant surveillance, restrictions of movement, and physical isolation.

He and his associates allegedly forcibly sexually assaulted victims. His associates or drugged them to ensure their compliance with his sexual demands.

Nygard allegedly maintained personal and quasi-professional relationships with certain of his victim. He called them “girlfriends” or “assistants.”  He required them to travel and stay with him regularly; to engage in sexual activity at his direction (including with him, with each other, and with others); and to recruit new women and minor-aged girls for him to have sex with.

The fashion mogul also controlled these “girlfriends” using coercion, force, and fraud. He and his associates at times gave them illegal drugs and alcohol before sexual activity. They threatened or berated “girlfriends” if they did not agree to participate, according to the indictment.

Nygard used different tools to recruit women and minors for sex including:

  • “Pamper Parties” hosted at his properties in Marina del Rey, California, and in the Bahamas. During these events, Nygard engaged in sexual activity with a victim on the premises and paid her cash. Some unwilling participants, including minors, were drugged to force their compliance with his sexual demands. Other victims were lured to a secluded area of the property where NYGARD used physical force and/or psychological pressure to coerce sex.
  • Sex and “swingers” clubs, where he directed and pressured “girlfriends” through manipulation, intimidation, degradation, threats, and, on occasion, force, to engage in sex with him and other men for his own sexual gratification.
  • Sexual “swaps” with male friends and business associates, who would bring Nygard a “date” for sex in exchange for sexual access to one of his “girlfriends.”

The Justice Department is encouraging victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by Peter Nygard to contact 1-800-CALL FBI.


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