Jay-Z’s company Roc Nation is suing Iconix Brand Group for embroiling the rap mogul’s apparel brand in an alleged “massive years-long fraud”.
The lawsuit, filed in the Manhattan Surpreme Court, accuses the New York licensing firm of duping Roc Nation and other brands into signing deals under “false pretenses” by lying about its financial health back in 2013.
Iconix is then said to have “absconded with its licensees’ money without providing the branding and retail support it promised”, according to court documents seen by The New York Post.
Roc Nation claims the firm’s duplicity “set off a colossal accounting scandal, the depths of which are still being uncovered”. It adds that during the time Iconix engaged in the allegedly fraudulent activity, the licensing firm’s share price plummeted from a high of around $400 to “less than a dollar today”.
The Securities and Exchange Commission questioned Jay-Z over the fraud allegations in a private deposition in 2018. The rapper says its dealings with the SEC caused Roc Nation to incur “substantial legal expenses”, which the suit will seek to reclaim from Iconix alongside unspecified damages.
Other brands said to have been duped include urban fashion labels Ecko and Ed Hardy.
Roc Nation sold men’s fashion brand Roc Nation to Iconix in 2007 for $204 million.