Ex-Abercrombie Chief at Center of FBI Probe

Investigation follows allegations that Mike Jeffries sexually abused more than 100 men
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2024 11:10 AM CST
FBI Probes Ex-Abercrombie CEO's Sex Parties
In this May 22, 2017, file photo, a store window reflects a street scene at an Abercrombie and Fitch store on New York's Fifth Avenue.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

The FBI has reportedly launched a criminal investigation of former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries following claims that he lured male models into an international sex-trafficking ring. The agency has subpoenaed potential witnesses and begun interviews as part of an investigation led by agents specializing in sex crimes, as well as federal prosecutors from the US attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, according to the BBC. The outlet previously reported Jeffries and his longtime romantic partner Matthew Smith arranged for young men to attend private "sex events" around the world between 2009 and 2015. It spoke with models who claimed they were drugged and raped and forced to sign nondisclosure agreements that they weren't permitted to keep.

Former A&F model David Bradberry later filed a civil lawsuit in New York, alleging Jeffries and Smith led a sex-trafficking operation between 1992 and 2014. It claimed Jeffries was likely to have sexually abused more than 100 men "under the guise of providing them with the modeling opportunity of their dreams" and that A&F had aided him. "It would not surprise me to hear that law enforcement is looking into this," Brad Edwards, an attorney representing Bradberry and other alleged victims, tells the BBC. Jeffries, 79, and Smith, 60, haven't commented on the allegations. Jeffries left A&F in 2014, taking "at least $27 million in cash and retirement benefits," per the New York Post. After the allegations surfaced, A&F suspended some $1 million in annual retirement benefits for Jeffries, saying it was "appalled and disgusted" by the alleged behavior, per the BBC. (More Abercrombie & Fitch stories.)

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