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.
In a press release issued Thursday, the federal agency noted that the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has already been subpoenaed twice and failed to answer both of those subpoenas. The agency would like to talk to him about, “among other things, Carter’s joint ventures with Iconix.”
What’s Going On?
In 2007, Iconix Brand Group, a “brand management company” that licenses brands to retailers and manufacturers in the clothing and footwear industries, bought out Rocawear. Rocawear was founded in 1999 by Roc-A-Fella Records co-founders Damon “Dame” Dash and Jay-Z. Although Iconix bought the brand – for a cool $204 million – Jay-Z retains his stake in the company, and he continues to be involved in its marketing, licensing, and product development.
In 2016, Iconix publicly announced a $169 million write-down of Rocawear (a “write-down” being a reduction in its estimated value), followed by another write-down of $34 million in March of this year.
Why, specifically, the SEC is investigating Iconix is unclear, but according to a companion CNBC report, there are concerns about the company’s financial reporting. Further, Bloomberg indicates that the agency is also interested in the company’s accounting practices.
What Does Jay-Z Have To Do With This?
His people are wondering the same thing. In a statement provided to NBC News, a representative for the rapper said his client had, and has, nothing to do with any of this.
“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. Mr. Carter is a private citizen who should not be involved in this matter.”
Jay-Z subpoenaed after refusing to cooperate with SEC investigation into $200 million deal https://t.co/WjyrtmAtFO
— TIME (@TIME) May 3, 2018
Further, according to Market Watch, the SEC notice issued this week does not indicate that Jay-Z is suspected of any wrongdoing.
So Jay-Z Has Ignored Two Subpoenas Before – How Is That A Thing?
According to Bloomberg, Jay-Z’s first SEC subpoena came in November 2017. Why he was allowed to ignore it is unclear, but in February of this year, after he had hired a new lawyer, he was subpoenaed again. He has, so far, failed to provide the SEC with any dates as to when or how he might testify – and now, it seems the federal agency is getting impatient with the rapper.
It is unclear, as of this writing, if Jay-Z will face criminal charges if he ignores this subpoena as well.