Former model and ex-wife of Tim Leissner, Kimora Lee Simmons, is fighting for the return of shares in Celsius Holdings Inc. worth approximately $93 million. These shares were ordered to be forfeited by Tim Leissner as part of his 1MDB guilty plea in a fraud case.
Kimora Lee asserts that she is the rightful owner of 892,732 Celsius shares, which she purchased using money earned from her modeling career and her Baby Phat clothing line. She argues that these shares were wrongly included in the federal order requiring Leissner to surrender over 3.3 million Celsius shares as proceeds of his crimes.
Leissner, the former head of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia division, pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiring with financier Jho Low in a massive fraud scheme to bribe officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi for bond deals. Low, who remains a fugitive, profited $1.42 billion from the fraud, according to US authorities.
Kimora Lee insists that she is a legitimate purchaser of the Celsius shares and that Leissner had no involvement in their acquisition. The shares were used as collateral for Leissner’s bond, but Kimora Lee argues that they should not be connected to his offenses or be subject to forfeiture.
The Celsius shares, with a trading value of $104.26 per share, hold significant worth, making the 3.3 million shares worth more than $344 million in total.
In addition to the shares, Leissner was also ordered to surrender $43.7 million in cash following his involvement in the fraud case.
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