Entrepreneur and music mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has been ordered to appear in a New York U.S. District Court on May 8 to explain why he shouldn’t be ordered to testify in an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The investigative subpoena was filed on May 2.
The SEC says it is investigating potential securities violations related to the financial reporting of New York-based Iconix Brand Group, Inc., which paid Jay-Z more than $200 million to acquire intangible assets associated with his Rocawear apparel brand. After the acquisition, Carter and Iconix maintained publicly-disclosed partnerships related to the Rocawear brand, according to the SEC:
“In March 2016, Iconix publicly announced a $169 million write down of Rocawear, and in March of this year, Iconix announced a further write down of $34 million. The SEC’s application states that the Commission seeks Carter’s testimony to inquire about, among other things, Carter’s joint ventures with Iconix.”
This isn’t the first time the SEC subpoenaed Jay-Z. It subpoenaed him in November 2017 and February 2018. “Carter failed to appear as required by the subpoenas and, through his counsel, Carter has declined to provide any additional dates on which he will agree to appear for investigative testimony,” the SEC said.
The flawed U.S. criminal justice system is on Jay-Z’s radar. His entertainment company, Roc Nation, and Amazon just announced plans for a six-part documentary series, expected to premiere in 2019, about rapper Meek Mill. Mill was released from jail in April after serving almost five months for a probation violation — for popping a wheelie in an Instagram video without wearing a helmet, Variety reported.
Roc Nation recently participated in a $3 million funding round for Promise, a de-carceration startup and app that aims to address inequalities in the bail industry and pre-trial incarceration. Promise presents an alternative to holding low-risk people behind bars simply because they can’t afford bail.
The SEC may be interested in speaking to Jay-Z for a number of reasons, according to Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to being one of the best-selling musicians of all time, Jay-Z’s businesses span a variety of sectors, including streaming service Tidal, which issues equity to other artists. He has founded or owned a clothing company, a restaurant chain, a sports management firm and two record labels.
Jay-Z sold Rocawear to Iconix for $204 million in 2007, but he maintained significant creative control of the brand, according to The Hill.
NEW: Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenas Jay-Z for testimony in fraud case involving "potential violations of the federal securities laws" related to his apparel brand. https://t.co/2Pm0ajPale pic.twitter.com/VV4hPoqreG
— ABC News (@ABC) May 3, 2018
Lawd have mercy.
— Grace Morse (@babygirl017) May 3, 2018
— Tom Holland & SHINee Stan (@mattswaggster) May 3, 2018
It's the hard knocks life.
— PHILLY'S ILL SKILLZ (@illskillz77) May 3, 2018
MORE: The SEC says it initially subpoenaed Jay-Z on November 16, 2017, again on February 23, 2018 but "Carter failed to appear as required" https://t.co/UPiAvdICm2
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) May 3, 2018
So he’s got a 100 problems now?
— HudsonRiverCroc (@HudsonRiverCroc) May 3, 2018
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