SEC Seeking Jay Z Testimony on Rocawear-Iconix Deal

JAY-Z ordered to appear in Manhattan Federal Court to explain why he shouldn't give deposition in SEC case

The Wall Street regulator filed the action against Shawn Carter, known artistically as Jay-Z, in federal court in the Southern District of NY as part of an ongoing case investigating the financial reporting of New York-based Iconix Brand Group.

The SEC said its quest to put Jay-Z on the stand "does not reflect a determination" that the rapper "has violated provisions of the federal securities laws at issue in the investigation".

Two years ago, Iconix wrote down $169 million of Rocawear and this year it wrote down another $34 million, according to SEC filings. That judge has now ordered the rapper to appear in Manhattan Federal Court to disclose details stemming from a suspicious $200 million acquisition by Iconix Brand Group in 2007.

Iconix, which sells retail brands Candie's and Joe Boxer, has been under SEC investigation over its accounting practices since December 2015. "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.

US Judge Paul Gardephe promptly obliged, ruling that the SEC has given sufficient cause to compel Jay-Z to testify. A subpoena was initially issued by the SEC in November 2016.

Simply asserting he does not have relevant information will likely not be enough for Carter to be allowed to ignore the subpoena, Chase said. "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.

Court documents list Jay-Z's attorney as Alexander Spiro, who is now representing the artist in a legal dispute with Iconix over the $200 million deal. Shares for the company are down almost 7% in trade today after this news.

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