Jay-Z lawyers: SEC probe has become a 'celebrity hunt' - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Jay-Z lawyers: SEC probe has become a 'celebrity hunt'

Posted: Updated:

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Lawyers for Jay-Z told a judge that the Securities and Exchange Commission has gone on a "celebrity hunt" by demanding the rapper submit to unlimited questioning beginning Friday about a company to which he sold his apparel business more than a decade ago.

Jay-Z is concerned that the SEC's request is "driven more by governmental fascination with celebrity and headlines than by any proper investigative purpose," the lawyers wrote Monday in a submission at Manhattan federal court. They said he has agreed to appear for one day before the SEC, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jay-Z, whose birth name is Shawn Carter, must appear before the SEC in Washington on Friday for a deposition of unlimited duration unless he can explain why it should not be required, U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardelphe wrote last week. The judge also set a hearing for Tuesday, though it was unclear whether Jay-Z will be there or just his lawyers.

The SEC described Jay-Z, whose hits include "99 Problems" and "Empire State of Mind," as an "important witness" who has "defied two lawful subpoenas," failing to show up twice for scheduled testimony.

The commission has sought to depose Jay-Z as part of its probe into possible securities fraud in the reporting of financial results by Iconix Brand Group, which purchased the rapper's Rocawear apparel brand. The SEC said Jay-Z and Iconix continued some business partnerships after the sale, and that the Rocawear-related assets are among the financial results under scrutiny.

In their submission, Jay-Z's lawyers called the SEC's subpoena "unreasonable and, indeed, oppressive," saying he never had a role in Iconix's financial reporting and hasn't been shown to possess any unique and relevant information.

They said the SEC has issued nine subpoenas to Jay-Z, his colleagues and his affiliated businesses, and that nearly 11,000 pages of materials have been submitted. The lawyers wrote that the chief operating officer of two of Jay-Z's businesses has already testified for a full day before the SEC.

They noted that the entertainer has an extensive business empire employing thousands of people. His schedule, they said, is especially hectic now with a global tour of 45 shows to begin June 6.

"The upshot imposes unreasonable burdens on Mr. Carter and raises serious questions about whether this exercise has transcended any investigative purpose and crossed over into a celebrity hunt," they wrote.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Hot ClicksHot ClicksMore>>

  • Why Facebook didn't block live New Zealand shooting video

    Why Facebook didn't block live New Zealand shooting video

    Wednesday, March 20 2019 1:12 PM EDT2019-03-20 17:12:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Vincent Yu). A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 17, 2019, where one of two mass shootings occurred. New Zealand's stricken residents reached out to Muslims in their ...(AP Photo/Vincent Yu). A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 17, 2019, where one of two mass shootings occurred. New Zealand's stricken residents reached out to Muslims in their ...
    (AP Photo/Vincent Yu). A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 17, 2019, where one of two mass shootings occurred. New Zealand's stricken residents reached out to Muslims in their ...(AP Photo/Vincent Yu). A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 17, 2019, where one of two mass shootings occurred. New Zealand's stricken residents reached out to Muslims in their ...
    Facebook no one flagged New Zealand shooting livestream, underlining tech companies' challenge policing content.More >>
    Facebook no one flagged New Zealand shooting livestream, underlining tech companies' challenge policing content.More >>
  • Records show special counsel zeroed in on Cohen early on

    Records show special counsel zeroed in on Cohen early on

    Wednesday, March 20 2019 1:04 PM EDT2019-03-20 17:04:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, in New York. Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a ...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, in New York. Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a ...
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, in New York. Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a ...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, in New York. Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a ...
    Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a year before agents raided his home and office.More >>
    Newly released documents show the FBI was investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a year before agents raided his home and office.More >>
  • Facebook says service hindered by lack of local news

    Facebook says service hindered by lack of local news

    Wednesday, March 20 2019 11:23 AM EDT2019-03-20 15:23:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and information is being hin...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and information is being hin...
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and information is being hin...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens in New York's Times Square. Facebook's effort to establish a service that provides its users with local news and information is being hin...
    Facebook says that a service it established last year to provide users with local news has been hindered by cutbacks in the news industry.More >>
    Facebook says that a service it established last year to provide users with local news has been hindered by cutbacks in the news industry.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms