FBI and New York Police searched Peter Nygard’s New York office on Tuesday, as the fashion executive faces sex trafficking allegations in a civil lawsuit.
Nicholas Baise, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York spokesperson confirmed that authorities executed the search warrant, but declined to disclose details.
There are no charges filed against Nygard, but the authorities’ actions suggest that there is an ongoing federal criminal investigation.
According to the New York Times, Nygard has been under secret investigation involving his hand on sex trafficking allegations for the last five months.
Ken Frydman, Nygard’s spokesperson stated that Nygard’s offices in New York and California are included on the search, and that his client is “not surprised” about this.
“Nygard welcomes the federal investigation and expects his name to be cleared,” Frydman said, and he continued by assuring that his client is cooperating with the operation.
The authorities surrounded the Nygard building in Times Square where the office is, but it was unclear if Nygard was in the building at that time.
The global fashion mogul is a friend of Prince Andrew, and had hosted the royal at his mansion in the Bahamas over the years.
That same Bahamas property is the subject of the sex trafficking charges, where some of the victims were as young as 14 years old.
The claims say that Nygard used his ties to the fashion industry to lure young women using money, drugs, and promises of a successful modeling career.
The lawsuit also states that he did not allow some of the young women to leave his property without his permission, and forced them to recruit new victims.
He denied the allegations, and his spokesperson believes that these claims intend only to damage his client’s reputation.
Nygard is the chairperson of his privately held company called Nygard International, which he founded in 1967.
His brands include SLIMS, Bianca Nygard and TanJay.