Iconix founder convicted of securities fraud at retrial

Iconix founder convicted of securities fraud at retrial



​A Manhattan jury found Iconix Brand Group

Lee Cooper

Prosecutors said Cole, 65, inflated the apparel licensing company’s revenue in 2013 and 2014 using joint venture agreements with Hong Kong-based global supply chain company Li & Fung Ltd.

Cole, Iconix’s former chief executive, was also convicted of making false filings with the SEC and improperly influencing audits, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.

Last year, another jury had deadlocked on those charges after acquitting Cole on two counts of conspiracy.

“Wall Street should know that we will not be deterred from seeking justice in tough cases,” Williams said.

Cole’s attorneys, David Markus and Sean Hecker, said in a statement that while they were disappointed with the verdict, “there are significant issues” to be reviewed on appeal.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos denied Cole’s request to dismiss an alternate juror during the trial. The reasons for the request were not disclosed in court papers.

Cole was charged in December 2019 with inflating the joint venture deals and agreeing to later reimburse the partner company through sham consulting or marketing fees.

Iconix paid $5.5 million in 2019 to settle with the SEC over alleged accounting violations, which the company neither admitted nor denied.

Lancer Capital took Iconix private last year.

The case is United States v. Cole, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 19-cr-00869

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