Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is shown during a bail hearing in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/La Liberte Manitoba, Tadens Mpwene - POOL

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is shown during a bail hearing in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/La Liberte Manitoba, Tadens Mpwene - POOL

Judge rejects fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s appeal of decision that denied him bail

The Canadian fashion leader, facing sex trafficking and racketeering charges in the U.S., will remain in jail

A Canadian fashion leader facing sex trafficking and racketeering charges in the United States will remain in jail after an unsuccessful attempt to appeal an earlier ruling that denied him bail.

The decision released Friday said Peter Nygard’s detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice, especially given the extreme nature and scope of the allegations.

Justice Jennifer Pfuetzner of the Manitoba Court of Appeal wrote the allegations “paint a picture of criminal conduct that was planned, financed and executed on a staggering scale.”

Nygard was arrested in December under the Extradition Act and faces nine counts in the Southern District of New York.

Authorities there accuse the 79-year-old of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities.

Justice Shawn Greenberg first denied Nygard’s bail in February, citing concerns that he would contact witnesses if released.

Nygard’s lawyers presented an augmented release plan during an appeal hearing last week. It included monitoring all emails and text messages.

The plan, as told to court, also involved an in-home security guard and 24-hour video surveillance.

Defence lawyer Brian Greenspan told court his client denied all the allegations and posed no risk if released.

He said Nygard’s health was rapidly deteriorating behind bars and he would be at significant risk if he contracted COVID-19.

Federal prosecutors argued that Nygard has the finances and personnel available to assist him in obstructing justice.

Pfuetzner said the new bail plan did not materially address the flaws that the original judge was concerned about.

“The application judge was rightly concerned that others would act on behalf of the respondent to contact witnesses and victims.”

Court has heard that Nygard is kept alone in a cell meant for three prisoners at Headingley Correction Centre outside Winnipeg. There is a television and phone in the cell and he has access to a diet for diabetics.

A formal extradition request from the U.S. was received by Canadian authorities in February. It details the accounts of seven alleged victims who are expected to testify in a criminal trial in that country.

There is a publication ban on any information that could identify the complainants or witnesses.

The women allege their livelihoods and their movements became dependent on having sex with Nygard. They say it was coerced through financial means or physical force.

U.S. prosecutors have said text messages and emails support the allegations.

Justice Canada said in an email that a pretrial hearing for the extradition case is scheduled for next month.

Nygard is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women with similar allegations.

Co-counsel in that suit, Greg Gutzler, said keeping Nygard locked up was the right decision.

“Nygard and his accomplices have an established track record of subverting justice by intimidating and tampering with witnesses,” Gutzler said.

Nygard founded his fashion company in Winnipeg in 1967. It grew from a partial stake in a women’s garment manufacturer to a brand name sold in stores around the world.

Nygard stepped down as chairman of his company after the FBI and police raided his offices in New York City in February 2020.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read