Russell Simmons is suing his ex-wife Kimora Lee for allegedly stealing stock shares to pay her husband Tim Leissner’s bail.
In the complaint, filed earlier this week, Russell Simmons accused both Lee and Leissner of breach of contract, fraudulent concealment and breach of confidential relations/constructive fraud, among other charges.
Simmons alleges that he, Lee and Leissner entered a business arrangement in 2016 when the now-married couple joined his investment company Nu Horizons.
During their time working for Nu Horizons, the organization made “considerable investments” in the “tens of millions of dollars” range to energy fitness drink brand Celsius Holdings, Inc. – a publicly traded company.
The suit continues to claim that when Leissner was arrested on separate money laundering charges in 2017, he and Lee “conspired” to use their stake in Celsius to “fraudulently transfer” almost 4 million Celsius shares to themselves.
“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,” the suit reads.
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 claims he didn’t find out about the fraud until July 2019. He’s requesting a jury trial and asking that Lee and Leissner – with whom he also attempted to settle the matter outside of court before filing a lawsuit – to return the shares, as well as to pay money, punitive damages and attorney costs.
Responding to the lawsuit, Lee’s attorneys said in a statement to E! News: “We will confront his baseless claims… Our team is actively working to put a firm end to his harassment.”