As the impending
Oct. 24 money laundering and racketeering trial looms over The Inc (formerly
The Inc.) and the Gotti brothers (Irv and Chris Lorenzo), the Federal government
slowly begins to reveal its case against the once powerful label.
In response to a motion
by the Gotti brothers’ lawyer to declare the search of Irv’s offices unconstitutional,
the Federal government filed a 50-page memorandum in opposition to suppress
outlines for the very first time, the case against Irv and Chris Gotti in great
The document was submitted
to the US District Court after Gerald Lefcourt, attorney for Irv Gotti, filed
a motion to declare the search of Irv’s offices unconstitutional.
Lefcourt also sought to
discredit affidavits from IRS criminal agent Francis Mace who claimed the label
was funded by Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff and that Supreme and Irv
put chart topping rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson under surveillance.
Filed on September
26 by Roslynn Mauskopf, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the
document contends that the defendants’ motions are meritless and should
be denied without a hearing based on the fact that there is no basis to suppress
the text pager records, which were obtained with a search warrant.
The memorandum also addresses
the issue of claims by Francis Mace by documenting that “any alleged inaccuracies
were not material to the finding of probable cause, given that the defendants
did not dispute that probable cause existed to search for evidence of the McGriff’s
use of false identification documents to travel, which Murder, Inc. arranged
for and paid.”
Further, the memorandum
also states that, “the defendants have no standing to suppress a search
of a storage office containing bookkeeping records that agents learned of through
bookkeeper Cynthia Brent.”
Cynthia Brent, The Inc.’s
former bookkeeper, was also indicted and charged with laundering over $1 million
in drug money and structuring cash to avoid federal reporting conditions.
Brent pleaded guilty on
September 21 and as part of her plea bargain; she revealed how she structured
financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements – breaking down
cash deposits for the label in amounts less than $10,000 so the bank wouldn’t
The memorandum also provides
a first-hand look into the secret world of Murder Inc and their ties to McGriff.
While the Gotti brothers
asserted that McGriff played an insignificant role in Murda Inc., the Federal
documents painted a very different picture and revealed that he had a noteworthy
yet largely secret position at Murder, Inc.
A review of the documents
* In 2001, McGriff
told arresting officers on the 2001 state gun charge that he worked for Def
* Text messages
reflected that McGriff regularly was present at the offices of Murder, Inc.,
and that he instructed his associates to call him there.
and subpoenaed records proved that Murder, Inc. employees made travel arrangements,
including flight and hotel accommodations, for McGriff using aliases, and that
Murder, Inc. paid for these trips.
* Text messages
showed that McGriff had reviewed business contracts on behalf of Murder, Inc.
rap artist Ja Rule.
In addition to the money
laundering and racketeering charges, the Gotti brothers are also the subject
of a federal investigation into the beating death of a New York drug dealer.
As AllHipHop.com reported
earlier this year, the Federal government is investigating the 1993 beating
of a man named Anthony Sylvester, who was beaten with a two-by-four “embedded
Sylvester’s body was
dumped in a vacant lot in Manhattan. He survived his wounds, but was comatose
for eight months.
Sylvester survived ten
years with 24-hour medical attention and succumbed to his wounds in October
The Inc. became the subject
of Federal investigation when it was alleged that the successful music label
was bankrolled McGriff, a notorious drug dealer who also allegedly involved
in the shooting of hip-hop superstar 50 Cent.
McGriff, a longtime friend
Irv Gotti, allegedly provided proceeds from drug trafficking in New York and
Maryland as "start-up money" for the powerhouse music label, which
is home to Ja Rule and Grammy Award winner Ashanti.
The Federal trial
is set to begin on Oct. 24. Previously unreleased details from both Irv and
Chris Gotti are expected to surface in "Queens
Reigns Supreme," a new book by Ethan Brown, which reveals the
history of Queens drug dealers and the music industry.