Jay-Z, hip-hop and business mogul, has been ordered by a New York federal judge to testify in a securities fraud investigation involving the rapper’s former fashion brand, Rocawear.
Paul Gardephe, US district judge, on Tuesday ordered the enforcement of the SEC’s subpoena to press Jay-Z in person on the details of his involvement with the Iconix Brand Group as part of the investigation into possible securities fraud.
The ‘Empire State of Mind’ rapper is expected to appear for testimony on May 15 at a mutually agreed location.
“The court expects the parties to proceed in good faith, and that all reasonable efforts will be made to complete respondent’s testimony in a single day,” Gardephe said in the written order dated Tuesday.
According to the court, the SEC has been subpoenaing Jay-Z for months, but his lawyers have cited the superstar’s busy touring schedule as the reason for his inability to testify.
They also said his testimony was not relevant enough to the case to disrupt his work.
The SEC is investigating whether Iconix violated federal securities laws in the reporting of its financial assets.
Iconix Brand Group, the company that bought Rocawear over ten years ago for over $200 million, announced in March 2016 a $169 million write-down of Rocawear, followed by a $34 million write-down this March, the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
Iconix reported that Jay-Z was still involved in Rocawear’s business dealings after the sale.