A top lawyer is warning that Kylie Jenner could potentially face a criminal investigation — and even jail time — should accusations that she falsified tax returns prove to be true. The makeup mogul is currently embroiled in a spat with Forbes, which claimed that the reality star lied about her wealth so she could claim billionaire status.
According to The Daily Mail, renowned lawyer Jan Handzlik, who served as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles for five years, claimed that Jenner’s public claims did not match filings made to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and that this could lead the agency to look deeper into her financial files. In addition, many are now wondering if Coty — the company that purchased 51 percent of her company last year — relied on the same allegedly fake documents.
Financial analysts noted that although Jenner claimed her skincare line had made $100 million in revenue in its first month and a half alone, Coty announced that it is on track to make just $25 million in sales for the entire year.
“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,” Handzlik explained, adding that the publicity would be like “catnip” for prosecutors.
“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,” he added.
As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Forbes called out Jenner in a scathing report on Friday morning, alleging that she and her team had likely falsified tax returns and lied about company figures. As a result, the magazine decided to revoke the title of “youngest self-made billionaire” that they had bestowed on the Kylie Cosmetics founder in 2019.
However, despite the major discrepancy in sales, Jenner has since hit back at the claims. Though she did not assert that she was in fact a billionaire, she insisted that she had a “successful business” and that she had never lied about figures or forged any documents.
That said, Handzlik warned that Jenner’s potential woes are far from over. The Los Angeles lawyer claimed that Jenner will likely not only have to worry about the SEC, but potentially the Department of Justice as well. In such a case, guilt could spell prison time for Jenner.
“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.”
Handzlik also added that should Jenner be tried and found guilty, she would have to repay Coty a “staggering” sum of money in restitution.