01-26-2005, 04:41 PM #1
Rap Mogul, Drug Kingpin Surrender to Feds
(AP) Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, head of The Inc., left, whose flagship artists are Ja Rule and Ashanti, is...
NEW YORK (AP) - The hip-hop label behind music superstars Ashanti and Ja Rule was part of a murderous criminal enterprise that protected its interstate crack and heroin operation with calculated street assassinations, federal authorities charged Wednesday.
Label head Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Christopher surrendered to the FBI on money-laundering charges Wednesday as federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment seeking to confiscate Irv Gotti's real estate and business holdings.
Gotti's childhood friend, Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, one of New York's most notorious drug kingpins, was charged with murder, racketeering and other crimes that prosecutors said were intended to eliminate and intimidate potential witnesses.
McGriff already is in prison on a relatively minor gun charge.
(AP) Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, head of The Inc., record label, center, is walked out of a federal building by...
Prosecutors said McGriff and the Gottis funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in McGriff's drug profits through The Inc., a chart-topping label owned partly by Def Jam, a subsidiary of Universal Music.
Recording in a studio dubbed "The Crackhouse," The Inc. has sold about 20 million records behind Ja Rule and Ashanti, who were not charged in the indictment. Ja Rule's current album, "R.U.L.E.," peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard chart. Ashanti is now appearing in the movie "Coach Carter," which debuted atop the box office list two weeks ago.
The charges were not expected to have a major impact on Universal. A source familiar with the Universal/Gotti joint venture said the arrangement would be dissolved if Gotti is convicted. A Universal spokesman declined to comment.
Defense lawyer Gerald Lefcourt said the Gotti brothers had been unfairly targeted for trying to help a respected figure from their rough Queens neighborhood. "I think it's a perfectly legitimate operation," Lefcourt said Wednesday. "Ultimately I expect Irv and Chris to be vindicated."
McGriff's lawyer, Robert Simels, said his client told him from prison Wednesday "that it's a shame that people who tried to help him in a legitimate way are involved in defending themselves in a criminal case."
The indictment charges McGriff and his associates with running a drug operation stretching from New York through Baltimore into North Carolina.
McGriff and his partners delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds to the Manhattan offices of Murder Inc., according to the indictment. In exchange, Irv Gotti paid McGriff's travel and hotel expenses and cut him checks from Gotti's personal and business accounts, prosecutors charge.
The indictment charges McGriff and several associates with the murder of potential government cooperators Dwayne Thomas and Karon "Buddha" Clarrett outside a Baltimore-area stash house in August 2001. They also are charged with the slaying of up-and-coming rapper E-Money Bags that summer.
McGriff, 44, founded the Supreme Team, once one of the city's most violent drug crews. Investigators suspect that after he finished serving about nine years for drug conspiracy in 1997, he set about reviving his lucrative - and deadly - drug-dealing operation.
Federal agents closed in on McGriff and the Gottis in recent months with arrests that netted Ja Rule's manager and a bookkeeper for The Inc., who also are named in Wednesday's indictment. At least five other defendants, including associates of McGriff, already have been charged.
The Inc. was founded as Murder Inc. in 1997
01-26-2005, 05:41 PM #2
gotta love them rappers, dam criminals
01-26-2005, 05:48 PM #3Retired Vet
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
Thanks for making me smile OG
01-26-2005, 05:52 PM #4
Hasnt this been rumored for a couple years now???
01-26-2005, 06:27 PM #5
is this even real?
01-26-2005, 06:27 PM #6
What a suprise...thats pretty ****ed up though.
01-26-2005, 06:47 PM #7
01-26-2005, 07:00 PM #8Originally Posted by OSTIE
Yeah it has, it was rumored that the lable was started from illegitament operations........but I would've thought with all the money they've made they wouldn't still be doign that stuff. All they did was risk all the money they've made for a little bit more. Stupid is as stupid does........
I love how their lawyer talks about how he feels this is "a perfectly legitimate operation." Its going to take some smooth talking on his part to back up that statement. He'll be like: "Well, let me clairify. I think this operation could have been legal, provided the illegal monies were never involved. The actual producing of records was totally legal, but the money laundering is up in the air. It could have just been my clients haning onto money for some freinds."
01-26-2005, 07:03 PM #9Originally Posted by UrbanLegend
01-26-2005, 07:44 PM #10AR Hall of Fame
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
01-26-2005, 10:53 PM #11
01-27-2005, 12:14 AM #12
hah thats funny sh1t. Theres no good rappers on that label anyway
01-27-2005, 02:05 AM #13
I just gotta be real and say what's on my mind...
You can take the (blank) out the hood, but you
CAN'T take the Hood out the (blank)... And you
all know it regardless of color, let's all be real...
No surprise at all there if you ask me...
01-27-2005, 07:48 AM #14
**** thugs! i say kill em all!
01-27-2005, 09:27 AM #15AR Hall of Fame
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
G G G G G UNIT!!!!!!!
U know Eminem/Dre/50/Banks/Buck/Yayo/Game/Sha Money XL/etc., are all laughing their respective asses off.
01-27-2005, 10:13 AM #16Originally Posted by SwoleCat
Yes they are.lol
There will be a song on this by 50
01-27-2005, 03:20 PM #17Originally Posted by buff87
01-27-2005, 03:29 PM #18Originally Posted by SwoleCat
now your talking
01-27-2005, 07:19 PM #19
Very true, but if you've ever spent sometime in the hood all over
the place you know what I mean, I don't even need to say a word....
Originally Posted by 9000rpm
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