Kylie Jenner 'could face jail over billionaire business lies'
A legal expert has suggested that the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star could be in a whole lot of legal trouble amid allegations she lied about her wealth and tax returns.
The 22-year-old reality star has seen a spectacular fall from grace after Forbes magazine kicked her out of their billionaire's list on Friday – just two years after they declared her the youngest self-made billionaire of all time.
The magazine alleges that the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star – who created a cosmetic company called Kylie Cosmetics in 2015 – may have filed false information to exaggerate the success of her cosmetics company after examining evidence from Kardashian family accountants.
Forbes claims that accountant reports suggest Kylie Cosmetics jumped in value from zero to $300 (£244 million) in the space of a year, leading the magazine to grow suspicious.
While in November last year, beauty giant Coty bought a 51 percent stark in Kylie’s business for an astonishing $600 million (£487 million) – which would have valued Kylie Cosmetics at $1.2 billion (£970 million).
The share value of Coty tumbled on Friday following Forbes’ accusations.
Forbes suggested it would be unusual for a company of Coty’s status to buy into a business that could be a “fad” at such a high value.
Now top financial fraud lawyer Jan Handzlik has suggested that Kylie could potentially be subject to a criminal investigation and even jail, should allegations of tax report fiddling prove true, and predicts the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) will spin into action soon.
Explaining what he predicts will happen next, Jan told the MailOnline: “My guess is that at a minimum the SEC will begin what they call an informal inquiry and then perhaps elevate that to a formal investigation, which gives them subpoena power.
“In this matter, you've got a mixture of things that may lead to both civil and criminal scrutiny early on: obviously the celebrity aspect, the large amount of the alleged exaggeration, and the highly public nature.
Kylie was previously named as the youngest-ever self-made billionaire by Forbes Magazine(Image: FORBES/JAMEL TOPPIN)
“All of this is like catnip to a prosecutor or the SEC, because it will lead to very heavy coverage of what takes place.”
He went on to predict an investigation by the SEC could lead to a deeper investigation by the American Department of Justice.
He warned: "If the Department of Justice decides to make this a criminal case… if there were to be a conviction, that could include jail time for any individuals who were responsible."
Forbes made the bold accusation that Kylie and her family had lied about their success to boost the appeal of the business.
Their suspicions arose due to Coty’s presentation allegedly revealing Kylie’s earnings in 2019 as being $177 million (£144 million) – up 40 percent of her 2018 wealth of $125 million (£101 million).
The magazine states the values were: "nowhere near the $360 million the Jenners had led Forbes to believe." They then suggested either Kylie’s wealth had dropped in the space of a year, or had been dishonest from the off.
They explosively claimed: "More likely: the business was never that big, to begin with, and the Jenners have lied about it every year since 2016 - including having their accountant draft tax returns with false numbers - to help juice Forbes' estimates of Kylie's earnings and net worth.
"While we can't prove that those documents were fake (though it's likely), it's clear Kylie's camp has been lying."
Kylie herself took to social media on Friday to slam Forbes’ report and protest her innocence.
She tweeted: “What am I even waking up to. I thought this was a reputable site. all I see are a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol. I've never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there EVER. period.
“Even creating tax returns that were likely forged that's your proof? so you just THOUGHT they were forged? like actually what am i reading.”
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