Jay-Z Receives Investigative Subpoena from the SEC

Jay-Z Receives Investigative Subpoena from the SEC

Darren Sullivan
May 4, 2018

Jay-Z has been subpoenaed - for a third time - by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) about an ongoing probe into Iconix Brand Group, NBC News is reporting. "Mr. Carter had no role in that reporting or Iconix's other actions as a public company", the 48-year-old music mogul's representative told ABC News. "Mr. Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter", the statement said.

Iconix paid Carter more than $200 million to acquire "intangible assets" associated with his Rocawear apparel brand.

In an ordered issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe of the Southern District of NY said Carter must appear before him on May 8 to answer why he should not be compelled to appear before the commission. Accordingly, Jay-Z (aka Sean Carter) and his attorneys have been resisting calls by the agency to testify and offer documents. The SEC further emphasized that the application "does not reflect a determination by the SEC or its staff that Carter has violated provisions of the federal securities laws at issue in the investigation".

American rapper Jay-Z, pictured here performing Bercy arena in Paris, Oct 17, 2013, is now in trouble. The SEC is seeking Jay-Z's testimony after the company wrote down the value of Rocawear by $169 million in March 2016 and another $34 million this year.

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The SEC initially issued a subpoena for Carter's testimony on November 16, 2017.

The SEC's application states that the Commission seeks Carter's testimony to inquire about, among other things, Carter's joint venture with Iconix. "The SEC doesn't typically back down". Jay-Z allegedly ignored both subpoenas. Rocawear was one of his early business successes.

Demand for many of its brands also is waning, as retailers like Sears, Kohl's and Macy's struggle to keep up with changing consumers habits.