Murder Inc. Bookkeeper Busted For Money Laundering

Murder Inc. Bookkeeper Cynthia Brent was arrested and indicted

Monday (November 8) on money laundering charges, as federal prosecutors continue

their investigation into a connection between the rap label and drug dealers.

Brent, 39, was

charged with laundering over $1 million in drug money and arranging cash deposits

to evade federal filing laws, officials said.

Brent pleaded not

guilty at an arraignment Monday and was released on $200,000 bond.

Multi-platinum

rapper Ja Rule and Murder Inc. head Irv Gotti confirmed their affiliation with

Queens crack kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff to the Associated Press,

but dismissed the grounds of the federal investigation.

"It’s stressful,

and to know that this [stuff] is bogus, you really start to think," said

Ja. "This is how they can stop these black companies from making money…put

an investigation on them."

After being released

from prison years ago, McGriff hooked up with Gotti to help produce a straight-to-video

film, “Crime Partners 2000,” featuring Ja-Rule, Snoop Dogg and Ice-T.

Prosecutors attempted

to confiscate the film proceeds last year, alleging that it was financed with

drug money. Officials are attempting to link McGriff, currently in prison on

gun charges, to at least one drug-related murder.

As a result of

the federal case, Murder Inc., whose roster includes Charli Baltimore and platinum-selling

artist Ashanti, changed its name to The Inc. earlier this year.

Ja Rule’s album

R.U.L.E. is due out in stores today (November 9).

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