Nygard Awaits Ruling on Revamped Bail Proposal in Canada
(Bloomberg) -- Fashion designer Peter Nygard will likely have to wait another week before a Canadian judge rules on his request to be released on bail while he fights extradition to the U.S. where he is wanted on sex-trafficking charges.
Nygard put forth a revamped bail proposal that includes transferring his nearly C$1 million ($781,000) home to a former employee and installing a sophisticated video-monitoring system. Justice Shawn Greenberg said at the end of the three-day hearing Thursday that she will make a decision by Feb. 5. Nygard attended the hearing via video.
The founder of women’s clothing maker Nygard International in 1967, was arrested in Winnipeg last month at the request of the U.S. which seeks his extradition on racketeering, sex-trafficking and related charges.
Prosecutors in New York claim Nygard took part in criminal conduct over 25 years, including using company money, resources and employees to traffic dozens of women and minors to force them into sex with him and his friends. According to the U.S. government, Nygard victimized dozens of women in the U.S., the Bahamas and Canada, as well as elsewhere. Nygard has denied the charges.
The 79-year-old has a pacemaker and his lawyer has argued that keeping him in jail during the pandemic is “a death sentence.” Prosecutor Scott Farlinger opposed the bail request, calling Nygard a flight risk and stated that the seriousness of the sex-trafficking charges far outweigh the risk of him contracting Covid-19 in jail.
”There are serious concerns for potential witness tampering,” Farlinger said.
Two former executives at Nygard’s companies have said they would be willing to put up more than C$1.2 million in combined assets to ensure he appears in court. Last week, however, Greenberg questioned the bail proposal after it was revealed that Nygard owned the Winnipeg home that accounted for the bulk of the assets offered.
As part of the new proposal, the house -- valued at roughly C$980,000 -- has been transfered from Nygard to Greg Fenske, a former director of systems for Nygard and one of the people who came forward to vouch for him.
BIL Security Services Canada Ltd. would also install a video-monitoring system on the property where Nygard would live under the bail proposal.
BIL Security President William Dietterle said in court that the system constantly monitors all building entrances and exits, as well as the property’s perimeter, and includes face recognition. Additionally, the company will subcontract a guard to be inside the home at all times and immediately report any potential breach of the bail conditions to police, he said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.