Manitoba·CBC Investigates

Peter Nygard finds buyer for Falcon Lake property

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is selling his property at Falcon Lake, Man. The multimillion -dollar package was quietly offered up in February to a handful of people who already own cottages in the area in a deal that was tentatively concluded last month.

Former Nygard exec resigns as trustee to facilitate the sale

Peter Nygard's properties at Falcon Lake have been sold. CBC News is told the buyer is a young software developer who knows Nygard through poker tournaments. The sale price is not known. (Travis Golby/CBC News)

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is selling his property at Falcon Lake, Manitoba.

The multimillion-dollar property was quietly offered up in February to a handful of people who already own cottages in the area and was tentatively sold last month.

CBC News is told the buyer is a young software developer who knows Nygard through poker tournaments. When reached by phone the man said his company was involved with the property but wouldn't say anything more.

Realtor Derrick Sigmar confirmed his firm had been asked to come up with a list of potential buyers, but said he couldn't provide further details without permission from the parties involved. He phoned back to say "the parties involved would prefer to keep that transaction private."

CBC News spoke with one man who said he bid $3.2 million for the three properties, but later withdrew his offer because there were too many conditions on the sale. 

Occupancy permit needed

He says Nygard had taken out a road that would need to be replaced by the new buyer. He also says there was no occupancy permit for the main cottage, and that the new owners would also be responsible for getting one.

The sale was due to close on or about March 9, according to court filings.

There are five buildings on Nygard's property in Falcon Lake: the main house, his mother's cottage, and three guest cabins. A neighbour told CBC News that the Nygard property is being turned into a hotel/bed and breakfast resort. (Travis Golby/CBC News)

In order for the deal to go through, both Peter Nygard and longtime family friend and former Nygard company executive Tiina Tulikorpi have to sign off on it. That's because Peter's mother, Hilkka Kanerva Nygard, had named them as trustees of her cottage at Falcon Lake when she died in 2010. 

Peter's sister, Pirjo-Liisa Nygard-Johnson, was also a co-trustee in the property until she died in January 2020.

Last month Tulikorpi, 53, filed an application in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench requesting removal from her role as trustee in Hilkka's estate.

"The terms of the trust dictate that the trustees must unanimously agree to any sale of the trust property," said the notice of motion filed in court March 15.

"Rather than get involved in approving the sale of the trust property, I would rather simply step down as a trustee, Tulikorpi wrote in her sworn affidavit. "Peter is the sole beneficiary of the trust, and I have no interest in the property."

The notice of motion says Peter Nygard has provisionally accepted an offer to purchase two of his properties in Falcon Lake, as well as his late mother's cottage. 

"If Tiina is permitted to resign as co-trustee, Peter can consent to the sale of the trust property … and if the trust property is sold, Peter is the sole beneficiary," said the notice of motion.

WATCH | Peter Nygard finds buyer for Falcon Lake property:

Nygard finds buyer for Falcon Lake property

CBC News Manitoba

12 days ago
1:54
Peter Nygard's properties at Falcon Lake have been sold. CBC News is told the buyer is a young software developer who knows Nygard through poker tournaments. The sale price is not known. 1:54

Tulikorpi accused as Nygard co-conspirator

Tulikorpi is among a number of longtime Nygard employees accused in lawsuits of being "co-conspirators" in the fashion mogul's alleged sex-trafficking scheme.

"These upper-level executives, officers and directors knew or should have known, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, of Nygard's continuing conspiracy and/or sex trafficking venture," said a June 11, 2020 amended complaint in a class action lawsuit filed in New York.

The lawsuit is on hold until the criminal case against Nygard works its way through the courts.

Nygard, 79, was arrested in Winnipeg last December on allegations he sex-trafficked dozens of women and girls over a 25-year period, and that he used company money and resources to commit his alleged crimes. 

Nygard remains at Headingley Correctional Centre and is facing possible extradition to the U.S.. 

Tiina Tulikorpi (left) has been described as a ‘co-conspirator’ of Nygard’s in lawsuits. (Peter Nygard/YouTube)

Tulikorpi is also mentioned in a civil claim filed by Canadian actress and model April Telek. Telek is suing Nygard's niece, Angela Dyborn, for allegedly setting her up to be raped by her uncle in the 1990s. 

"[Dyborn] was also one of the key co-conspirators that helped Nygard and his other conspirators — chiefly Greg Fenske and Tiina Tulikorpi — conceal and divert assets to benefit Nygard and defraud creditors and victims," Telek wrote in a Nov. 23, 2020 lawsuit filed in California.

None of the allegations against Dyborn or Tulikorpi have been tested in court. Both women have denied them publicly.

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat recently reported that Tulikorpi has played a key role in protecting Nygård's image for about three decades.

"She really looked after his public image, one hundred per cent. If anything was not right or made him or his family look bad, she would be on it like flies on s---," a former Nygård employee told the newspaper.

CBC's The Fifth Estate also uncovered three incidents over the last decade in which Tulikorpi played a role in protecting Nygard's reputation.

More recently, a former Nygard videographer said Tulikorpi "coached" a young woman into making a videotaped statement in 2012 that appeared to be "against her will." He said the woman was asked to say Nygard was "nothing but a gentleman." 

Tulikorpi acknowledged she was present, but denied she coached the woman.

"How can people say that about me?" Tulikorpi told CBC's Timothy Sawa, in an interview for the podcast "Evil By Design." 

"That's very hurtful for people to say that," she said.

In April 2020 the receiver in control of nine Nygard companies said Tulikorpi, former Nygard company executive Greg Fenske (left) and five unnamed employees spent approximately $85,000 on corporate credit cards for cash advances or to purchase, among other things, prepaid cash cards, gift cards, consumer electronics, groceries and alcohol. (Peter Nygard Twitter)

Accused of questionable spending

Tulikorpi and another former top Nygard executive Greg Fenske, were accused of questionable spending in receivership hearings last year. Nine Nygard companies were placed under the control of Richter Advisory Group Inc. in March 2020 for failing to pay more than $35-million in debt to American lenders.

In the first report to the court, Richter said it was investigating more than $200,000 in spending on corporate credit cards a week before the Nygard companies went into receivership. 

The receiver said Tulikorpi, Fenske and five unnamed employees spent approximately $85,000 on "their respective corporate cards for cash advances or to purchase, among other things, prepaid cash cards, gift cards, consumer electronics, groceries and alcohol."

Runs two Nygard companies

Tulikorpi wasn't just the marketing and promotions director for Nygard International, she is also the president of Edson's Investments Inc., and Brause Investments Inc., two California companies the United States Government says are controlled by Peter Nygard.

"Nygard's Company emails show, for instance, that Nygard controlled Edson's and directed that money be moved between Edson's accounts and others," wrote Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney in the Nygard extradition case.

Nygard's name doesn't appear on any of the company documents for Edson's and Brause and at his bail hearing court heard Nygard doesn't own the companies. Court was told Nygard's wealth had diminished and that he didn't even have enough money to renew his passport, which the judge didn't accept.

U.S. authorities say Nygard has been liquidating assets for the past several months and has been using top level executives to do it.

"During the past several months, certain United States-based entities controlled by Nygard have sold a number of real estate holdings in California, totaling nearly $70 million U.S. dollars," wrote Strauss.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Barghout

Investigative Reporter, CBC Manitoba I-Team

Caroline began her career co-hosting an internet radio talk show in Toronto and then worked at various stations in Oshawa, Sudbury and Toronto before landing in Winnipeg in 2007. Since joining CBC Manitoba as a reporter in 2013, she has won an award for her work on crowded jails and her investigation into Tina Fontaine's death led to changes in the child welfare system. Email: caroline.barghout@cbc.ca

with files from Timothy Sawa

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