SEC Subpoenas Jay-Z to Testify in Iconix Brand Investigation

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Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, owns a clothing brand called Rocawear. It said the company paid Jay-Z more than $200 million to acquire assets associated with his Rocawear apparel brand. On Feb. 23, 2018, after Carter retained new counsel, the Commission issued a second subpoena for his testimony. "If respondent [Carter] refuses to appear on the appointed date and time, the Commission will have established a prima facie case of civil contempt against him, and he may be held in civil contempt for failure to comply with the Order without further notice or hearing", the order said.

The SEC said it is investigating financial reporting at Iconix Brand Group of NY, which paid more than $200 million to acquire Rocawear assets but then wrote down the business by $169 million past year and another $34 million in March. "Mr. Carter had no role in that reporting or Iconix's other actions as a public company".

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"Mr. Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter", they add. The lawsuit claims that the rapper's deal with New Era to produce baseball hats without the approval of Iconix.

It also said it wants to learn about his other companies that did business with Iconix and his awareness of the knowledge and intent of other people who knew of transactions involving Jay-Z, his affiliated companies and Iconix.

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SEC officials insist the notice "does not reflect a determination" that Jay-Z "has violated provisions of the federal securities laws at issue in the investigation", but he must attend the Manhattan Federal Court hearing to explain why he shouldn't be compelled to sit for testimony, according to the New York Daily News.

The company, whose retail brands include Joe Boxer and Candie's, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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The SEC said in its statement Thursday that Iconix had to write down the value of its Rocawear purchase after the fact.