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Former CEO Of Iconix Filed Baked by Melissa CEO Subpoena Now Opposed By US Attorney

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 29 – Neil Cole, the brand manager charged with financial chicanery was freed on $1 million bond on December 5, 2019 and allowed to travel throughout the United States by agreement of the US Attorney's Office, contrary to the "SDNY and EDNY only" restrictions they routinely place on less affluent defendants.

SDNY Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses accepted the agreed bail conditions, and said that they can be appealed or asked to be modified before SDNY Judge Edgardo Ramos to whom the case is assigned.

Now on December 29, the US Attorney's Office has opposed Cole's subpoena served on Baked by Melissa, where Seth Horowitz, a Government cooperating witness, was the CEO. The US Attorney's Office says the information sought is not relevant, but rather a fishing expedition.

From the announcement by the US Attorney's Office "charging NEIL COLE, the former chief executive officer of Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (“Iconix”), a publicly traded brand management company, with engaging in a scheme to fraudulently inflate Iconix’s revenue and earnings per share and obstruct justice.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.     Mr. Berman also announced today the unsealing of charges against Seth Horowitz, the former chief operating officer of Iconix, who pled guilty on December 2, 2019, and is cooperating with the Government.   

United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Neil Cole entered into illegal secret agreements with joint venture partners to artificially inflate the value to his company.  Further, as alleged, Cole lied to outside auditors and to the SEC, and took steps to destroy evidence.  Now Neil Cole is in custody and facing serious criminal charges for his alleged conduct.  This is the third accounting fraud case brought by our Office in the last four months, which illustrates both the pervasiveness of this crime and my Office’s commitment to policing it.”    

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:  COLE and Horowitz engaged in a scheme to falsely inflate Iconix’s reported revenue and EPS by orchestrating a series of “round trip” transactions in which COLE and Horowitz induced a JV partner, a Hong Kong-based international apparel licensing company (“Company-1”), to pay artificially inflated buy-in purchase prices for JV interests, with the understanding that Iconix would then reimburse Company-1 for the overpayments.

The case is US v. Cole, 19-cr-869 (Ramos).


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