A Call to Arms: Marc Jacobs Involved in Bribery Scandal
A bribe or a business expense? The answer often depends on the cultural context.
When it comes to alleged payments by Marc Jacobs International to secure prime show space at the 69th Regiment Armory during New York Fashion Week, however, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's position is clear. A deliberately timed 31-count indictment, 24 counts of which involve Marc Jacobs, claims that since 2000 former Armory superintendent James Jackson solicited a total of more than $30,000 in illicit gifts, including money, computers, and exercise equipment, in exchange for facilitating use of the landmark building. The official daily fee for use of the Armory is approximately $6,000.
While Marc Jacobs' elaborate show will go on -- it's one of the hottest tickets of Fashion Week, after all -- the AG has not ruled out bringing charges against Marc Jacobs International or its powerhouse PR and production firm, KCD, which allegedly paid the bribes.
Should you be one of the lucky ones with an invitation to the Friday evening event at the Armory, consider taking along a book for the inevitable wait. Counterfeit Chic suggests Bribes, a an in-depth historical review by Judge John T. Noonan, Jr., unfortunately out of print but still available used. In some cases and places, bribes are even tax deductible -- though Marc Jacobs probably shouldn't claim a refund just yet.