The New York Post’s Page Six has reported that Hip-Hop billionaire Jay-Z and his company Roc Nation are suing a city licensing firm, alleging it of bilking investors in a “massive years-long fraud,” according to a new lawsuit. Roc Nation first sold the men’s clothing brand Rocawear to Iconix for $204 million in 2007.
According to court documents in the Manhattan Supreme Court, the suit says that the Iconix Brand Group Inc., duped it and other companies — including Ecko, Ed Hardy and PONY — into doing business by not being honest about its financials, and then made off with their money without delivering the services that the company promised.
The feds have been investigating Iconix, which court documents reveal have “amass[ed] a portfolio of trademarks under false pretenses,” and detailed that they committed fraud by having “absconded with its licensees’ money without providing the branding and retail support it promised.” Roc Nation had been doing business with the firm after selling men’s clothing brand Rocawear to them for $204 million back in 2007. Though the company’s stocks were strong through 2015, the suit points out that, today, they are worth “less than a dollar per share.”
Iconix then “absconded with its licensees’ money without providing the branding and retail support it promised,” the court documents allege.
“Plaintiffs never would have entangled their business interests with Iconix had it disclosed the true condition of its business or the massive accounting fraud in which it was engaged,” the court documents claim.
The representation for Roc Nation is requesting that Iconix should pay for the all legal costs accrued when Jay-Z had to testify after the SEC subpoenaed him and for other unspecified damages.
We’ll have more on the story as it develops.