SEC Probes Sale of Jay-Z's Clothing Brand

SEC Probes Sale of Jay-Z's Clothing Brand”

Updates with Jay-Z's comments in fourth paragraph.

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an action in Manhattan federal court against hip hop mogul Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter).

The SEC asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY to force Carter to testify in the agency's probe of Iconix Brand Group, which acquired the rapper's Rocawear clothing brand in 2007. At the time, Rocawear was reported to have annual sales of over $700 million.

Carter sold Rocawear to Iconix for $204 million in 2007, but maintained significant creative control of the brand.

According to the SEC, a subpoena for the artist's testimony was originally issued on November 16.

The SEC is investigating possible securities law violations by Iconix Brand Group, which markets apparel brands including Joe Boxer and London Fog.

The subpoena "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", they said. "Mr. Carter had no role in that reporting or Iconix' s other actions as a public company. Mr. Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter".

"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 said in a statement. Shares for the company are down almost 7% in trade today after this news. "The SEC's application states that the Commission seeks Carter's testimony to inquire about, among other things, Carter's joint ventures with Iconix".

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