On Friday, Forbes removed Kylie Jenner from its list of billionaires, stating that her business is "significantly smaller and less profitable" than the Kardashian-Jenner family had made cosmetics industry and media outlets to believe. In a scathing article published on Friday, titled 'Inside Kylie Jenner's Web of Lies - And Why She's No Longer A Billionaire', the business magazine claimed that the family's accountant had provided it with false tax returns, which showed inflated sales of her Kylie Cosmetics.
In November, last year, she sold 51 percent stakes of her company to beauty giant Coty at a massive deal of $1.2 billion. Although this reaffirmed Jenner's billionaire status, but filings released by Coty, which is a publicly-traded company, revealed that the company's figures were inflated by the family. The question was raised that when the company's sales stood at $307 million in 2016 and $330 million in 2017, why was it $125 million in 2018.
Kylie Hits Out at Forbes
This is poles apart to Forbes' March 2019 article titled 'At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever', an illustration that drew widespread criticism since Jenner belongs to the Kardashian-Jenner clan, which is among the richest celebrity families in the U.S.
Expectedly, Jenner wasn't pleased, who shot back in a series of tweets, stating that she thought Forbes "was a reputable site", adding that all she sees are a "number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions". She added that she never asked for any title or lied her way there. She even questioned the magazine's claim that her tax returns were forged.
In another tweet, she said that she's "doing perfectly fine" as she has a "beautiful daughter and a successful business". "This is literally the LAST thing I'm worried about right now", she charged in another tweet. Despite the magazine's scathing criticism, the magazine has estimated her net worth as somewhere below $900 million.
Legal trouble Ahead?
According to Jan Handzlik, who was Los Angeles' public prosecutor for five years and now defends celebs and big businesses in financial fraud cases, if one takes the Forbes' investigation at face value, then the Jenners could land themselves in legal trouble.
In an interview with the DailyMail, Handzlik explained that at a minimum, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) will open an informal inquiry, followed by a formal investigation that will provide the commission with subpoena power. After that, she could face a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ). If it decides to move ahead with a criminal case, a conviction would attract a prison term for those involved. Jenner's popularity and the amount of media coverage the case will garner will make matters worse for her, Handzlik said.