Hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon alleges that his Bahamas neighbor, Canadian fashion magnate Peter Nygard, secretly plotted to have him murdered, according to new court documents filed in the Bahamas.
Bacon and Nygard have been famously feuding for a decade. The two tycoons own adjacent mansions on the exclusive Lyford Cay in the Bahamas.
The latest accusation isn’t the first time this fight has devolved into allegations of serious crimes by one or the other.
In a complaint dated March 9, Bacon and four other plaintiffs have accused Nygard and Keod Smith, a former attorney of Nygard’s, of “assault, battery, false imprisonment, conspiracy to injure and/or under the common law tort of harassment and/or the intentional infliction of harm and/or wilfully infringing their rights to personal safety.”
“The action arises out of a concerted campaign on the part of Mr Peter Nygard and/or Mr. Keod Smith, together with others, to injure, cause harm to, cause damage, terrify and intimidate the Plaintiffs, and others, by various means, including a plot to murder Mr Frederick R Smith and Mr Louis Bacon, violent assaults, hate rallies and other intimidatory tactics.”
Here’s the bit about the alleged murder plot:
On several occasions on dates unknown after February 2014 and in addition to instructing them to organise the hate rallies and/or protests as pleaded hereinafter, Mr Nygard met covertly and secretly with Mr [Livingston] Bullard and Mr [Wisler] Davilma, two convicted criminals, to discuss the two of them killing various perceived opponents and adversaries of Mr Nygard, including Mr Frederick Smith and Mr. Bacon. Mr Nygard promised to pay the said criminals substantial sums if they carried out these assignations.
As a result, Bacon has been “in fear of his life and has also had to take troublesome, invasive, inconvenient and expensive security measures to protect himself,” the complaint said.
Nygard and the other defendants have to answer the writ of summons within 14 days. Nygard’s spokesperson sent the following statement:
The allegations in this lawsuit are based on purchased and perjured testimony of two convicted criminals in the Bahamas. There is evidence that these convicted criminals were paid millions of dollars by Louis Bacon and/or his operatives in exchange for this false testimony. There’s also evidence that these convicted criminals offered to recant their false testimony if Mr. Nygard paid them a significant amount of money. This was rejected by Mr. Nygard because he refused to participate in fraud against the court or be subjected to extortion. Mr. Nygard and his attorneys are currently evaluating legal action – which might include filing criminal complaints—against all of those involved in this thinly-veiled publicity stunt.
A decade-long feud
Nygard is the founder of Nygard International, which specializes in designing and manufacturing women’s fashion. He owns a 150,000-square-foot Mayan-themed mansion, often referred to as “Nygard Cay.”
Bacon is the founder and CEO of Moore Capital Management, a New York-headquartered macro hedge fund.
Bacon, a well-known environmental conservationist, is also a director of Save The Bays, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the Bahamanian environment.
In particular, Save The Bays has accused Nygard of illegally expanding his property by dredging up the bay and subsequently causing harm to the marine environment.
“Save The Bays campaigns against unregulated and environmentally damaging developments in The Bahamas,” Bacon’s recent complaint said. “An extreme example of such unregulated and harmful development is at Mr. Nygard’s property, Nygard Cay. Over the last approximately 30 years Mr. Nygard has unlawfully expanded his property to over twice its original size by illegally expropriating Crown Land and causing environmental damage.”
This has been at the heart of the conflict between the two tycoons.
The defamation suit
In January 2015, Bacon filed a $50 million (now $100 million) defamation suit in New York against Nygard claiming that Nygard has been on an “obsessive and malicious” smear campaign against him since mid-2010. Some of the “brazen lies” Bacon claimed Nygard spread about him include that he’s a murderer, a white supremacist, a drug smuggler, an arsonist, a briber of politicians and an insider trader.
Shortly after he filed the suit, Bacon doubled the damages he’s seeking to $100 million.
Bacon has categorically denied all of Nygard’s allegations. Bacon has also said that the statements allegedly made by Nygard have damaged his “professional, philanthropic and personal reputations.”
In a statement at the time, Nygard said that Bacon’s allegations were “without merit.”
In April, Nygard filed a countersuit against Bacon seeking $50 million. In that countersuit, Nygard attempted to link the Bacon and his late property manager, Dan Tuckfield, to the November 2009 fire that caused “millions of dollars in damage” to his Mayan-themed property.
In July, Judge Cynthis Kern ruled that 105 of the 135 alleged defamatory statements in Bacon’s suit would be dismissed on the ground that they are duplicative or are time-barred.
In a letter sent to Judge Kern in January, Bacon’s attorney Orin Snyder wrote that Nygard and his co-conspirators “smear campaign” against Bacon has “has only intensified” and the defendants “show no signs of letting up.”
Earlier this month, Bacon’s attorney filed an amended complaint against Nygard that includes 33 new alleged defamtory statements made against him.
A hearing for the defamation suit in New York is scheduled for March 29.
Here’s the Bahamian court filing: