SDNY – NBC New York

Federal prosecutors in New York have charged Canadian fashion magnate Peter Nygard in connection with an investigation into allegations that he trafficked and sexually assaulted dozens of girls and women for years.

The ninefold charge from the Southern District of New York also accuses 79-year-old Nygard of racketeering and other crimes. According to press reports in that country, he was taken into custody in Canada on Monday evening.

US federal authorities raided Nygard’s headquarters in Manhattan earlier this year, a search that took place amid allegations that he trafficked and sexually assaulted dozens of teenage girls and women.

Last February, News 4 reported that the FBI and NYPD were searching the designer’s offices in Times Square following a lawsuit filed in early 2020 by 10 women who accused Nygard of luring young and poor women to his Bahamas estate with money and promises. of modeling opportunities.

Several plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they were 14 or 15 years old when Nygard gave them alcohol or drugs and then raped them.

The designer is facing a class action lawsuit in the United States for sexual assault against dozens of women.

Fifty-seven women – including 18 Canadians – have joined the lawsuit, alleging that Nygard used violence, intimidation, bribery and company employees to lure victims and go unaccountable for decades.

Nygard has denied all charges and blames a conspiracy caused by a feud with his billionaire neighbor in the Bahamas.

Nygard International started in Winnipeg as a manufacturer of sportswear. According to the website, the retail sector has more than 170 stores in North America.

According to the class action lawsuit, Nygard used his company, bribery of Bahamian officials, and “significant influence in the fashion industry” to recruit victims in the Bahamas, the United States and Canada.

He claims he bullied the young women with drugs and alcohol during “pampering parties” and kept a database on a company server containing the names of thousands of potential victims.