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Jay-Z's Roc Nation sues licensing company in NYC for fraud

Jay-Z named hip-hop's 1st billionaire
  • Jay-Z's business entities sued Iconix Brand Group, accusing the licensing firm of lying about its finances when it made deals with the rapper's Roc Nation apparel company. 
  • Roc Nation alleged the Iconix's scheme cost it millions when the licensing company's stock price fell from a peak of more than $400 per share in 2014 to less than a dollar this year.   

Jay-Z's business entities sued a New York City licensing firm, claiming it cheated its Roc Nation apparel company as part of a "colossal accounting scandal," according to a suit filed this week in the state court in Manhattan. 

The lawsuit accuses Iconix Brand Group of lying about its finances when it made deals with Roc Nation. There was no immediate response to a phone message Friday seeking comment from Iconix.

When Roc Nation entered into a brand partnership with Iconix in 2013, the defendant company allegedly was fabricating financial reports to falsely inflate its earnings.

The allegations arise "out of a massive years-long fraud perpetrated by Iconix and its affiliates to amass a portfolio of trademarks under false pretenses, in the process defrauding its licensees and partners, and setting off a colossal accounting scandal the depths of which are still being uncovered," the suit says.

It adds that the scheme sent Iconix's share price "from a peak of more than $400 per share in 2014, to less than a dollar today."

Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, was questioned behind closed doors last year about the fraud allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission. At the time, his lawyers said they didn't believe he had any relevant information to share with SEC investigators.

The suit says Jay-Z's companies "have incurred substantial legal expenses in connection with, among other things, the federal government's investigations into Iconix's massive fraud."

The plaintiffs are seeking payment of legal fees and unspecified damages.

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