*Russell Simmons is suing his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons and her husband, Tim Leissner, for allegedly using some of Simmons’ shares of his Celsius Energy Drink company to pay for Leissner’s attorney fees.
Leissner is currently facing a series of federal charges, including conspiracy to launder money in a separate case. We previously reported, per wwd.com:
“Tim Leissner was chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia business, but he resigned in 2016 and was subsequently subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department as part of a probe into the disappearance of billions of dollars from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB that was designed to boost the country’s economy and for which he helped raise money” the outlet writes.
Per The Blast, Simmons claims Kimora and her husband invested tens of millions of dollars in the Celsius energy drink company. He believes Kimora and Tim “conspired with each other, aided and abetted each other and together engaged in fraud by causing an unlawful conversion and fraudulent transfer” of the Celsius shares without Russell’s consent or knowledge. Kimora and her husband allegedly transferred Simmons’ shares to themselves. According to the court docs, Russell’s new accountants discovered a “substantial unexplained change” in his interests in Celsius.
In the court docs, Simmons claims Kimora and Leissner “knew full well that Leissner would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail, and forfeit monies for victim compensation” related to his fraud case – $44 million to be exact, according to the report. The couple is accused of using their Celsius shares as collateral for Leissner’s bail.
Here’s more from The Blast:
Russell is asking a judge for damages against Kimora and Leissner and believes he should be awarded restitution for interest and equal value for the wrongfully obtained shares. Interestingly, Russell says he sent his ex-wife a letter on May 5, 2021, pleading with her to do the right thing and avoid a lawsuit. He wrote to her, “to get the important family matter of the Celsius shares to a close so that we can put it behind us and carry on as the loving united front we have always been.”
Russell’s pleasant demeanor turned negative in his letter to Kimora. He said, “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..which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money.”
Kimora and Tim have not responded to Russell’s lawsuit.