The FBI has reportedly opened a criminal investigation into Abercrombie & Fitch’s disgraced ex-CEO Mike Jeffries after he was accused of orchestrating elaborate sex events to exploit and sexually abuse young male models.
The investigation is being led by FBI 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, whose bombshell investigation first made Jeffries’ “well-oiled machine” to “recruit” young men for sex events public.
Interviews are already underway, and potential witnesses have been subpoenaed, the BBC reported.
The Post has sought comment from the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office.
In October, eight men detailed allegations of an exploitative regime led by Jeffries to the BBC, which saw the former Abercrombie & Fitch boss and his British lover, Matthew Smith, luring them to Jeffries’ upscale New York residences or luxury hotels in the world’s fashion capitals between 1992 and 2014.
“Recruiters” — a type of middleman alleged victims claimed misled them about the nature of Jeffries and Smith’s events — received as much as $1,000 per referral, the BBC reported.
The BBC identified this middleman as Jim Jacobson, who was described by modeling agents as the gatekeeper to “the owners” of A&F during the teen retailer’s heyday in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Alleged victim David Bradberry told the BBC that he was introduced to the A&F boss by Jacobson back in 2010, when he was 23.
“Jim made it clear to me that unless I let him perform oral sex on me, that I would not be meeting with A&F or Mike Jeffries,” Bradberry told BBC.
A personal “groomer” then allegedly shaved the body hair off some of the men before they attended the events.
Afterwards, victims were given envelopes with anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars in cash before leaving the event, per the BBC.
The men Jeffries allegedly abused were then required to sign nondisclosure agreements that said they would be sued if they spoke out. They were not allowed to keep a copy of the legal document, according to the BBC.
Less than a month after the BBC investigation was published, Bradberry filed suit in Manhattan federal court against A&F, accusing it of enabling Jeffries.
Bradberry is seeking unspecified damages in the suit, which names Jeffries, 79, his family office and Smith, 60, as co-defendants.
Jeffries’ lawyer, Brian Bieber, did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment, though he’s said that “Mr. Jeffries will not comment in the press on this new lawsuit as he has likewise chosen not to regarding lawsuits in the past.”
Though Jeffries and his longtime partner haven’t directly addressed the allegations against them, A&F told The Post when the BBC’s investigation broke that it was “appalled and disgusted by the behavior described.”
Jeffries abruptly resigned from A&F in 2014 after 22 years at the helm.
His exit came after eight consecutive quarters of sales declines and controversy — which Jeffries seemingly invited when he openly favored what he called “cool, good-looking people” at A&F while shunning “fat people.”
Jeffries reportedly walked away with at least $27 million in cash and retirement benefits.
Though Smith was never employed at A&F, a 2013 Buzzfeed News report citing six then-current and former employees detailed Smith’s access to important company documents and frequent in-office attendance, where he enforced Jeffries’ policies and micromanaged staffers.
Since ridding of the toxic duo, A&F has embraced diversity among its models and sizing options, and ditched the shirtless male models who greeted customers outside stores.
Jeffries, meanwhile, has lived much of his life since leaving A&F avoiding the public eye. According to online magazine GoodtoKnow, unconfirmed reports have said that Jeffries and Smith now live in Ohio with their three dogs.