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'Blatant Fraud': Russell Simmons Sues Ex Wife Kimora Lee Simmons For Allegedly Stealing Stocks To Pay Off Husband's Bail Fees

May. 20 2021, Published 7:22 p.m. ET

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Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons may have split in 2009, but their divorce still reverberates to this day.

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The founder of Def Jam Records is suing the Baby Phat mogul and her current husband, Tim Leissner, for allegedly stealing stocks from him in order to foot the bill for Leissner's $44 million dollar bail fees after he pleaded guilty in 2018 to criminal conspiracy to commit money laundering for taking billions of dollars from Malaysian wealth fund. 

Russell is alleging that the couple "aided and abetted each other and together engaged in fraud" by unlawfully transferring funds owned by Simmons to their own account in 2018. 

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In court documents filed this week by the businessman, he alleges the fashion maven and her husband of nearly seven years "conspired to make a fraudulent transfer of Simmons' nearly four million shares of energy drink company Celsius in order to pay for Leissner's legal and bail fees related to a 2018 money laundering case."

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Russell made a plea to his ex-wife, whom he was married to from 1998 until 2009, to resolve the matter out of court in a lengthy letter in which he asked why she was allegedly breaking their confidential partnership and also asked her to help "reaffirm his 50% of Celsius shares."

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"Throughout my entire decades-long partnership with you I've done everything and anything to protect and promote our family," the Phat Farm creator explained in the letter. "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."

"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," he said.

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He continued on in the letter by launching into attacks about her current husband's fraudulent activity saying, "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."

It is alleged that the former model — who shares daughters Ming, 21, and Aoki, 8, with the film producer — did not learn about the transaction until July 2019. 

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All that Russell wants is for Kimora and Leissner — who share sons Wolfe, 6, and Gary,11 — to be "ordered to pay money and punitive damages, and that the couple return the nearly 4 million shares of Celsius and that they pay attorney legal fees." 

PEOPLE was the first to report on the court filing. 

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