Teen apparel retailer Aéropostale Inc. said on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation related to activities of its former executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

This story first appeared in the January 17, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

On Nov. 8, 2006, the company disclosed the termination of Christopher L. Finazzo, after it was revealed that he concealed personal ownership interest in and served as an officer of South Bay Apparel Inc., one of the company’s largest vendors. This violated Finazzo’s employment agreement and was deemed a conflict of interest.

Mindy Meade has since taken over responsibility of chief merchandising officer.

In the Wednesday SEC filing, Aéropostale said, “The SEC’s investigation is a non-public, fact-finding inquiry to determine whether any violations of law have occurred.”

The company said it plans on fully cooperating with the investigation.