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Russell Simmons Has Sued His Ex-Wife, Kimora Lee Simmons, For Fraud

It’s time for a money fight between ex-spouses, 63-year-old Russell Simmons and 46-year-old Kimora Lee, which is absolutely bizarre because they divorced ages ago! But it’s got nothing to do with that. Kimora and her current husband, 49-year-old Tim Leissner, are being accused by Russell of stealing millions of dollars worth of stocks from him in order to pay for Tim’s bail for other financial schemes.

E! News says that Russell’s lawsuit accuses Kimora and Tim of fraudulently transferring millions of shares from an energy drink company called Celsius to pay for Tim’s bail and legal fees in a money laundering case:

Simmons, who was married to Lee from 1998 to 2009, entered a new business arrangement with his ex-wife and her now-husband in 2016, when they joined his investment company, Nu Horizons, per the suit.

Nu Horizons “made considerable investments” in the “tens of millions of dollars” range into the publicly-traded company Celsius Holdings, Inc., an energy fitness drink brand.

The lawsuit alleges that Lee and Leissner then “conspired” on May 21, 2018, to use their control to “fraudulently transfer” 3,972,659 shares of Celsius to themselves.

Tim’s money laundering troubles are connected to the huge 1MDB corruption scandal. 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is a government-run strategic development company that raised billions of dollars to fund projects, but the money was allegedly used by executives to pay for their lavish lifestyles and to fund movies like Wolf of Wall Street. Tim Leissner was a senior executive at Goldman Sachs at the time, and the company was charged in connection to foreign bribery crimes and paid the US Department of Justice almost $3 billion.

The saga began in 2017, when federal charges were filed against Leissner in a separate case, related to his involvement in the 1MDB fraud while he worked at Goldman Sachs. In the new lawsuit, Simmons’ camp refers to 1MDB as “one of the World’s largest commercial frauds.” Leissner eventually pled guilty to money laundering and foreign bribery charges and forfeited $43.7 million, per The New York Times.

Since Tim had to pay up a lot of money for bail and to possibly pay back victims in the 1MDB scandal, Russell Simmons claims that he and Kimora came up with a fraudulent way to get their scheming paws on millions of dollars. They transferred those 3.9 shares of Celsius to themselves and never told Russell. Russell’s lawsuit also accuses Tim and Kimora of trying to cover their tracks:

“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’ lawsuit states, accusing the couple of stealing the Celsius stocks.

According to the complaint, Simmons didn’t give “consent” and wasn’t aware of the alleged stock transfer until July 2019 when his accountants allegedly discovered the transfer.

“In short, knowing full well that Defendant Leissner would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail and forfeit monies for victim compensation, Defendants engaged in this blatant fraud to achieve that nefarious and unlawful goal,” Simmons’ lawyers claim.

The lawsuit alleges that Lee and Leissner later decided to “create a new spin for the conspiracy and fraud they had effectuated” by writing a signed letter dated in June 2018, writing the stock shares “have been temporarily loaned” to the mother of five “for purposes of the bond” in connection with his federal case. They said the investments “will be returned when such collateral is no longer required.”

Russell is accusing them of breach of contract, fraudulent concealment, breach of confidential relations/constructive fraud, and more. Russell adds in his lawsuit that he has tried to work this out privately with Tim and Kimora to avoid going to court and sent Kimora a letter as recently as May 5:

“As you know, throughout my entire decades long partnership with you I’ve done everything and anything to protect and promote our family,” he wrote to his ex, according to the legal complaint. “I have never said no to any request and have always gone against my own council to offer up much more than any judge would ever require of me in order to keep the peace.”

He continued, “I have invited you to share in many of my business opportunities including introducing you to Celsius which has been very lucrative for you. I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares.”

The hip hop artist wrote that the shares “have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money,” adding, “This, by the way, having been done under an ILLEGAL transfer of my funds that I had NO KNOWLEDGE OF and would have never agreed to.”

Kimora’s lawyers denied Russell’s claims:

“We will confront his baseless claims… Our team is actively working to put a firm end to his harassment.”

Welp, looks like parking spots aren’t the only thing that Kimora Lee likes to snatch up! And to think, it was only a few years ago when Kimora defended Russell against rape accusations, saying that the person she knows would never do anything like that. So I won’t be surprised if she issues an update to that statement that will read: Remember what I said about Russell a few years ago? I take it back!


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