Fashion Mogul Set to Face Sex-Trafficking Charges in U.S.

OTTAWA — Peter Nygard, the Canadian former fashion executive who was once given to boasting about his flamboyant lifestyle, waived a Canadian extradition hearing on Friday, a move that will soon bring him to the United States to face charges of sex trafficking, racketeering conspiracy and other crimes victimizing dozens of women and teenage girls.

Mr. Nygard was arrested in December at his house in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the request of the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. A nine-count federal indictment charged that Mr. Nygard, 80, deployed his company’s influence, its money and its employees to recruit adult and “minor-aged female victims” during a 25-year period for his sexual gratification and that of his associates.

Mr. Nygard sexually assaulted some, the indictment said, while his associates assaulted or drugged others “to ensure their compliance with Nygard’s sexual demands.” The indictment said that their actions took place in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada.

Following his arrest, Mr. Nygard’s Canadian lawyer denied the charges and predicted that his client would be vindicated.

In February, the court in Winnipeg denied Mr. Nygard’s request to be released on bail while it considered the extradition request from the United States.

While Canadian courts accept the overwhelming majority of extradition requests, appeals and procedural delays can be used to prolong the process for years, if the accused has the financial resources to sustain such a legal challenge.

Mr. Nygard, who traveled by private jet with an entourage of women to homes that included an estate featured on “Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous,” is now penniless, according to his lawyers. His privately held, Winnipeg-based corporate group, which operated as Nygard International, filed for bankruptcy in Canada and the United States.

Bankruptcy filings show that his corporations’ liabilities exceed their assets by about 150 million Canadian dollars.

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