Washington (AFP) – Hip-hop megastar Jay-Z should be compelled to testify in an investigation into the sale of his Rocawear apparel brand, after he ignored an order to show up for questioning, US market regulators said Thursday.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said the repeat Grammy winner, whose real name is Shawn Carter, failed to respond to subpoena seeking his testimony, so officials have asked a federal judge in New York to take action.
“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.
The agency said it subpoenaed Carter in November and again in February after he hired new lawyers.
The SEC is investigating possible securities law violations by Iconix Brand Group, which markets apparel brands including Joe Boxer and London Fog.
The company paid Carter more than $200 million for Rocawear assets. In March 2016, Iconix announced a $169 million write-down of Rocawear, followed by a $34 million write down in March of this year, the SEC said.
The agency is seeking his testimony about Rocawear’s joint ventures with Iconix among other matters but the action announced Thursday is not an indication he has violated securities laws.