The SEC wants to ask the rapper questions about his involvement with Iconix Brand Group following the sale of his Rocawear brand in 2007.
Jay-Z is set to appear in court, having been issued a subpoena by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of an investigation into the sale of his Rocawear clothing brand.
The rap megastar, 48, has been ordered to explain details regarding the 2007 deal with brand management firm Iconix Brand Group Inc, worth $200 million, according to Reuters. The SEC is investigating the context of the sale to determine whether it violated securities laws, and has also been investigating Iconix since 2015 regarding its accounting practices over subsequent "joint ventures", on which the rapper worked with them.
Jay-Z – real name Shawn Carter – has ignored two previous subpoenas to appear before the court regarding Iconix’s practices, the US market regulators told a New York judge on Thursday (May 3rd).
“The commission seeks Carter's testimony to inquire about, among other things, Carter's joint ventures with Iconix. Carter failed to appear as required by the subpoenas and... declined to provide any additional dates on which he will agree to appear for investigative testimony,” the SEC told judge Paul Gardephe.
Jay-Z has been issued a subpoena by the SEC
The SEC assured the court that Jay-Z’s testimony will “not reflect a determination” that he "has violated provisions of the federal securities laws at issue in the investigation.”
However, they are still interested in hearing him discuss his “joint ventures with Iconix” that he entered into with the company after the Rocawear sale, when he was still a creative consultant for the brand.
Having heard the SEC’s submission, Judge Gardephe ruled that Jay-Z must appear before the court next Tuesday (May 8th) to “explain why he shouldn't have to testify.”
Speaking to CNBC later, a spokesperson for Jay-Z said that the subpoena was unnecessary as the rapper was outside of the scope of the inquiry.
“We are aware that the SEC is seeking information on Iconix's financial reporting. Mr Carter had no role in that reporting or Iconix's other actions as a public company,” the statement read. “Mr Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter.”
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