Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
1/26/2005 11:23:21 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Irv Gotti.
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 all the assets of their label, The Inc.
Their 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.
He already is in prison on a relatively minor gun charge.
Prosecutors believe McGriff and the Lorenzos funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug profits through The Inc., a chart-topping label owned partly by Island Def Jam, a Universal Music label. A Universal spokesman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Irv Gotti's lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, said The Inc. formerly known as Murder Inc. is a legitimate business financed by cash from Island Def Jam.
"It's just unfortunate that this investigation has constantly been dragging (Gotti) through the mud," Lefcourt said. "Ultimately
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