HOT on the heels of a threat to sell his Lyford Cay home troubled Peter Nygard may be moving quickly to offload the property before his creditors can get their hands on the proceeds of the sale.
Enivornmental group Save the Bays has told The Tribune they are aware Nygard - currently languishing in custody in Canada pending extradition to the US on numerous alleged serious sex offences - is moving to put Nygard Cay up for auction.
Nygard is understood to have placed the property with a Bahamian real estate company which briefly showed the estate on their website with a massive price tag of $59m. The listing, however, was very quickly taken down. Nygard’s problem is he owes millions in The Bahamas and is desperate to avoid a court ordering the sale of Nygard Cay and then his creditors being paid from the proceeds.
Save the Bays estimates it is owed up to $7m from the numerous court orders it has already won against Nygard. In addition the Bahamian government is owed millions for actions it too has won against the fashion designer along with a fortune in unpaid property taxes. Nygard, it is believed, is hoping to place the property with Concierge Auctions and that bidding would be opened at $20m.
The price tag is far in excess of an estimate Save the Bays was given when it had an independent appraisal carried out which valued the property at just $14m. The relatively low price was heavily influenced by the fact Nygard Cay has had no maintenance carried out for a number of years and is in a general state of disrepair. Fred Smith, Save the Bays legal director, told The Tribune: “This modest valuation was greatly influenced by the deplorable condition of the buildings and the extreme deterioration of utilities infrastructure. The likelihood is a purchaser would also be required to absorb the expense of reversing the illegal dredging in construction activities Nygard carried out which could be as high as $12m.”
Mr Smith said Save the Bays understand prospective purchasers have already visited Nygard Cay just weeks after the group lodged its application in the courts to sell the property to satisfy Nygard’s legal debts. Save the Bays suspects Nygard chose not to sell his estate locally as everyone in The Bahamas would be aware of the monies owed by him. In an international auction he would be able to play down the debts tied to the property.
Mr Smith added: “If Nygard and his agents manage to get away with this scheme, it is not at all certain that the funds raised by the auction could ever be pinned down by the local authorities to be confiscated to the relief of Nygard’s many creditors. “The many survivors of Nygard’s alleged sex trafficking scheme are seeking damages. if the allegations are proven in a US court and it awards damages to the victims those damages would be enforceable against Nygard Cay - any buyer should be aware of that.
“In addition there are 14 employees who worked at Nygard Cay for between 20 and 25 years who were terminated in December without notice, pay, severance or other compensation.
“There are other creditors and litigants against Nygard whose cases are ongoing - by employees and lawyers - for unpaid wages and fees. “If anyone is interested in buying this place they should do so with their eyes wide open. It really is a case of - buyer beware.”