The second day of
dramatic testimony took place today (Nov. 17) as the money laundering trial of
The Inc.’s Irving Lorenzo, who dropped the “Gotti” moniker from his
name and his brother Christopher, continues.
as Damon Dash and Ja Rule attended the high-profile trial taking place at Brooklyn
U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York.
The federal government
accuses The Inc. of laundering over $1 million in drug proceeds from Kenneth
“Supreme” McGriff’s drug operations.
During day two
of the trial, one of federal prosecutor’s star witnesses- Donnell Nichols
– had his credibility severely attacked by The Inc.’s attorney, Gerald
Shargel along with
Gerald Lefcourt is representing brothers Christopher and Irving Lorenzo.
Nichols testified and implied that Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff was
aided in a laundering scheme by the Ruff Ryders Record label, which allegedly
paid McGriff thousands of dollars in $5 and $10 dollar bill increments.
Some of Nichols’
allegations drew gasps from spectators in the court, as well as the actual jury.
jury was really blown away by all of the misrepresentations that he [Nichols]
made in the court room,” said Ethan Brown, author of the upcoming book
Supreme," which focuses on the Queens, New York drug trade and its
connection to the Hip-Hop industry.
laughing at some point," Brown said. "They were in shock.”
Nichols and slammed his comments, claiming that Nichols could not be trusted
because he was a homeless individual who frequently slept at the Greyhound Bus
Shargel then brought
out suitcases and demonstrated – with fake cash – how the vast sums
of money Nichols claimed he saw being laundered – would not fit into suitcases
he claimed to have seen laundered.
After a short recess,
Shargel brought out a staggering amount of evidence and implied Nichols was
a serial liar.
evidence bad checks Nichols wrote for an office space for a non-profit, a business
that Nichols couldn’t fully explain.
the claims of bouncing checks until Shargel introduced into evidence the actual
checks. Shargel also brought up Nichols past history.
Shargel said Nichols
served in the United States Navy until 1999, but produced an email that contained
Nichols claiming to be a member as recent as 2003.
Shargel then produced
a resume of Nichols’ that contained Nichols claiming to have supervised
a staff of employees for The Inc.
Nichols – who worked
for the label for six months around 1999 – admitted on the stand: “I was
bluffing a resume.”
Then Shargel brought
up an incident involving a man named Glen Williams, from North Carolina.
Williams $1500 a week as salary to work for The Inc.
from North Carolina to New York and finding out there was no job waiting, Williams
assaulted Nichols in The Inc. conference room.
In more character
damaging evidence, Shargel produced fan site websites that Nichols’ company
allegedly controlled with his name attached to Ja Rule and Ashanti, along with
out that Ashanti was not signed to The Inc as an artist during the six months
that Nichols was associated with the label, a hiring that was a favor for Christopher
More evidence came
when Shargel introduced a website where Nichols claimed to have worked with
various major label artists.
Nichols could not recall one major artist he had worked with.
Shargel also showed
websites that indicated Nichols owned multi-million dollar state of the art
recording studio equipment which Nichols could not prove he owned.
Nichols even admitted
to sitting home and watching an MTV television special on the federal investigation
of The Inc. when he decided to phone the FBI in 2003.
When Nichols was
grilled about the amount of alleged drug money he saw, he could not offer an
amount, he could only “guesstimate,” and admitted he couldn’t
determine how much money he actually witnessed being laundered.
Pokorny then asked Nichols if it was an experience for him being on the stand.
When asked in various
forms, the line of questioning prompted a series of dramatic objections in rapid
– fire – succession from Shargel, all of which were sustained by
Judge Edward Korman.
Testimony in the
trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow.
Other documents relating
to the trial can be found at http://www.allhiphop.com/murderinc/