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Hedge Fund Manager Louis Bacon Scores a Win in Bahamas Property Spat

The Supreme Court of the Bahamas has seized property of Bacon's neighbor Peter Nygard, the founder of a clothing retailer.

Louis Bacon, the founder of hedge fund firm Moore Capital Management, should see the sandy beach of his property in the Bahamas restored after Save the Bays, a local nonprofit that seeks to protect the environment, scored a legal victory resulting in the seizure of his next-door neighbor's real estate.  

The Supreme Court of the Bahamas seized the property of Peter Nygard, founder and chairman of clothing retailer Nygard International, last week, according to Fred Smith, an attorney at Callenders & Co. who represents Save the Bays. The Bahamian non-profit, which has received funding from Bacon, sued Nygard in 2013 for his illegal dredging, Smith said in a phone interview Monday.

The dredging, which was tied to the expansion of his property, disrupted the natural flow of sand to a national park and left Nygard’s neighbors with increasingly rocky shorefronts as his own property became sandier, according to Smith. Bacon is a director on the board of Save the Bays and among the property owners allegedly harmed by Nygard's construction activities.

“He was expanding the property in a way that prevented the downdrift flow of sand to all the landowners in the rest of the bay and the national park,” Smith said. “Their properties were being starved of sand.”

A spokesman for Bacon declined to comment. Nygard didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

While Nygard and Bacon have feuded for years as neighbors, the seizure of the Canadian fashion mogul’s property is the result of the suit filed by Save by Bays for environmental damage, Smith said. 

For more than 20 years, Nygard behaved as “a law unto himself” in the Bahamas — and got away with it, according to Smith. “He pretty much did what he wanted to,” he said, “until he crossed swords with his neighborhood Mr. Louis Bacon.” 

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Bacon is the president of Moore Capital Foundation, which he founded in 1992 to support nonprofits that seek to protect threatened landscapes, habitats and bodies of water in U.S. and abroad.

The Bahamian government first attempted to take over Nygard’s real estate on September 27, but his employees would not allow the court bailiffs and police to enter his property, according to Smith. They were kept waiting for Nygard at the gate of his home for about five and a half hours, he said, before deciding to return the next day.

“It’s like a huge medieval gate,” he said. A locksmith assisted the marshal of the Supreme Court in taking possession of the property, called Nygard Cay, on September 28, he added.

According to Smith, a sale of all or part of the seized real estate will help cover legal fees owed by Nygard. The court has ordered that his property be returned to its original proportions.

Nygard, who is the son of Finnish immigrants, founded the eponymous clothing retailer in 1967, according to the company’s website. He owns another home in the Bahamas called Viking Hill, Smith said.

In January, Nygard faces sentencing for ignoring previous court orders to stop the illegal dredging in the country, according to Smith, who said he may be sentenced to jail at that time or ordered to pay a fine. 

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