ALBANY — Marc Jacobs International Co. LLC has paid $1 million to New York State for its conduct related to payments made to the former superintendent of the 69th Regiment Armory, James Jackson, for use of the armory’s drill hall to host the brand’s fashion shows.
According to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, from around February 2000 to February 2007, MJI used an intermediary to pay Jackson cash and goods valued in excess of $35,000 to allegedly get preferential booking for the armory space during New York Fashion Week.
The civil settlement with the New York State Attorney General’s office was reached in February, and MJI paid the $1 million that month. Pursuant to the agreement, MJI agreed to engage the services of a private monitoring agency for a two-year period to review its operations and report to the attorney general. MJI’s executives have cooperated fully with the investigation and the agreement resolves the investigation with respect to MJI, according to Cuomo.
“New York City is a global epicenter for fashion and cultural events and we will not allow corruption and greed to tarnish one of our most lucrative industries,” Cuomo said in revealing the settlement. “Places like the 69th Regiment Armory are a key part of ensuring that cultural enterprises across the state continue to thrive.”
The Armory bribery scandal broke in the media during New York Fashion Week last February.
The armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, has long been the site of Marc Jacobs’ shows, both for his main collection and his Marc by Marc Jacobs line. MJI allegedly made payoffs to Jackson through the designer’s public relations firm, KCD Public Relations, to reserve the national historic landmark on key dates.
In addition to more than $35,000, Jackson was indicted for accepting gifts, which reportedly included a Bowflex exercise machine and computers.
Jackson, 57, has pled guilty to larceny and bribery in the second degree for demanding cash from armory exhibitors over an eight-year period, according to Cuomo.
“We are pleased that this matter has been resolved,” said a spokeswoman for MJI. “We have already taken and will continue to take steps to avoid incidents of this nature in the future.”