Russell Simmons is suing his ex-wife Kimora Lee for allegedly using his company stock to pay her husband Tim Leissner’s bail and legal bills.
In the complaint, Simmons accused both Lee and Leissner of breach of contract, fraudulent concealment and breach of confidential relations, among other charges.
Simmons alleges that he, Lee and Leissner entered into a business arrangement in 2016 when they joined his investment company Nu Horizons.
He said Nu Horizons made “considerable investments” in the “tens of millions of dollars” to Celsius Holdings, Inc. – a publicly traded energy fitness drink company.
The lawsuit alleges that when Leissner was arrested on money laundering charges in 2017, he and Lee “conspired” to “fraudulently transfer” almost 4 million Celsius shares to themselves.
They then allegedly sold the stocks to pay defense lawyers to represent Leissner. The couple is pictured with their son, Wolfe, in 2015.
Leissner pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering for the theft of billions of dollars from Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB in 2018. In order to avoid jail time, he agreed to forfeit nearly $44 million, reported Forbes.
Simmons’ lawsuit reads:
“Awaiting his plea deal and sentencing, Defendants Leissner and Lee, knowing full well that they would be required to pay tens of millions for bail and possible victim compensation, conspired and effectuated… an unlawful fraudulent scheme.”
Simmons claims he didn’t discover the fraud until July 2019. He asked Lee and Leissner to settle the matter out of court and return the shares, as well as pay punitive damages and attorney costs, but they apparently refused.
An attorney representing Lee and Leissner called the lawsuit “baseless”.