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Jos. A. Bank ad data are subpoenaed by Spitzer

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, whose recent investigations have shaken up Wall Street and the mutual fund industry, has subpoenaed information from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., the Hampstead men's clothing manufacturer.

The clothier revealed the subpoena in a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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It was not immediately clear what the attorney general was seeking, although the company's filing said the request was related to its advertising and in-store promotions.

Spitzer and company officials could not be reached for comment last night.

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In its filing, Bank said it had produced the documents and not been notified of any further action. The subpoena was issued on or about April 22.

Spitzer is known for his aggressive investigation into fraudulent business activity. He recently sued pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline over its handling of information about the antidepressant drug Paxil, and former New York Stock Exchange head Richard A. Grasso and his associates over Grasso's $187.5 million compensation package.

In its filing, Bank said it did not know if it was a party to any legal proceedings. Bank officials also said they did not know how the subpoena could adversely affect the company's finances.

Its stock closed up 24 cents to $33.61.

Announcement of the subpoena, at the bottom of the filing, was made on the same day that Bank's board of directors declared a 25 percent stock dividend. Under the dividend, shareholders of the company as of July 30 will receive one additional share of stock for each four shares owned.

The number of outstanding shares of common stock will increase to about 13.3 million from the current 10.6 million outstanding shares. The dividend shares will be distributed Aug. 18.

The company has undergone an aggressive expansion in recent years and some analysts have questioned Bank's accounting of same-store sales comparisons. Bank has more than 200 stores. It earlier announced plans to open 55 to 65 stores this year.


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