Judge Edward Korman
delivered a blow to the government’s case yesterday (Nov. 22) when he ruled
that 50 Cent’s May 2000 shooting was irrelevant to the federal money laundering
trial of The Inc.’s Irv and Chris Lorenzo.
The theory that Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff ordered
Ja Rule’s bodyguard to shoot 50 Cent was ruled out of the brothers’ trial,
in which they are accused of laundering millions of drug proceeds for McGriff.
Sources familiar with the case told AllHipHop.com that 50 Cent’s
shooting could come up again – in McGriff’s murder and racketeering
trial – which is slated to start in March of 2006.
The chances that 50 Cent will have to testify in that case are
a "near certainty" according to sources, because McGriff is accused
of murdering Queens, New York rapper, Eric “E-Money Bags” Smith
E-Money Bags was allegedly setup to avenge the murder of another
McGriff associate, Colbert “Black Just” Johnson, who E-Money Bags
allegedly shot in the leg during a cocaine related dispute.
Johnson died on the way to the hospital as the bullet struck
an artery in his leg and fatally wounded him.
Sources close to the case stated that Jon Ragin, who is testifying
on behalf of the government during the money laundering trial of the Lorenzo’s,
will also testify for the government during McGriff’s trial in March.
Ragin was a partner with McGriff in Picture Perfect Films, which
prosecutors claim was set up to launder McGriff’s drug money.
During testimony barred from the jury, Ragin testified that
he met McGriff and Robert "Son" Lyons in a Brooklyn garage after 50
Cent was shot. Ragin claimed McGriff admitted to ordering Lyons – who was Ja
Rule’s bodyguard – to shoot 50 Cent.
Sources stated this is almost certain to come up in McGriff’s
murder trial, because of the similarities between the shootings of 50 Cent and
50 Cent was shot in May 2000 when a gunman pulled alongside
of his car and open fire. E-Money Bags was shot 10 times and killed in July
2001 while sitting in his SUV on a Queens street.
The government has charged Dennis “Divine” Crosby,
38, and Nicole Brown, 42, with E-Money Bags’ murder, along with McGriff.
The couple allegedly videotaped the rapper’s movements from
a nearby apartment before he was gunned down.
McGriff is also charged for a drug-related double slaying in
Baltimore, Maryland. In that incident, police found $30,000 in cash in a stash
house allegedly used by McGriff.
They also found large amounts of cocaine and heroin and promotional
items from the "Crime Partners" movie that McGriff allegedly was producing
with Jon Ragin.
Yesterday during testimony to jurors, Ragin stated he routinely
saw bags and shoeboxes of cash delivered to The Inc.’s offices.
He also stated that checks cut from The Inc. were reimbursed
with drug money. When cross-examined, Ragin admitted he never saw the money
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys noted that Irv and Chris
Lorenzo were compulsive gamblers.
According to court records, between September and December of
2000, Chris Lorenzo placed over $1.5 million dollars in bets on college and
professional basketball games, as well as professional football games.
Gerald Shargel, who is representing The Inc. along with Gerald
Lefcourt, said Chris’ gambling addiction was so bad that his only asset
is a small one bedroom apartment in Queens and that “Chris doesn’t
own anything of value.”
Shargel said that Irv – a top-selling producer –
and Chris’ gambling addiction also accounted for the large amounts of
cash frequently seen in the office.
The Inc.’s trial could end as early as next week, now that 50 Cent’s shooting
has been dismissed, preventing a “trial within a trial.”