Irv Gotti And Brother Chris Plead Not Guilty, 50 Cent Speaks On Situation

Murder Inc. CEO

Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Christopher pleaded not guilty

to money laundering charges levied at him and other associates in a 37-page

indictment that was unsealed yesterday (Jan. 26).

50 Cent, arch-nemesis

of Ja Rule and Gotti spoke about the arrest.

In a departure from his standard venom, 50 Cent spoke candidly about his Queens,

New York rivals.


think it's sad [about] Irv Gotti's situation," 50 Cent told

"He's the guy who allowed his blessings to turn into something negative.

After establishing himself in the music business, he tried to become something

he never had the heart to be in his neighborhood. That's where "Gotti'

came from. He was DJ Irv ahead of that. Anybody that's in the street is trying

to get out. You can't blame anyone but Irv."

Lorenzo and his

brother Christopher are accused of helping reputed drug dealer Kenneth "Supreme"

McGriff launder millions of dollars in drug money through Gotti's Murder Inc.

record label [later rechristened The Inc], home to such stars as Ja Rule and


McGriff was also

charged yesterday with the 2001 revenge slaying of Queen's rapper Eric "E-Money

Bags" Smith. On Wednesday, the Lorenzo brothers surrenedered to the FBI

and were released on $1 million dollars bond each.

50 Cent's G-Unit

and Ja Rule and The Inc. have been involved in a bitter rivalry for years. The

cause of the beef has many theories, but none have been fully substantiated.

Some believe that McGriff was responsible for the murder of 50 Cent's mother,

whom allegedly worked for McGriff's Supreme Team drug gang in

the 80's and was caught stealing.

50 Cent himself denied any truth in that rumor.

Other's say McGriff

was the conspirator behind the 2000 shooting that left 50 Cent with nine bullets

and inadvertently launched his multi-platinum career. 50 Cent himself has raised

this theory in songs and interviews.

In 1999, Ja Rule

and 50 Cent were involved in a physical confrontation in Atlanta and 50 was

allegedly stabbed by members of Murder Inc., a year later inside a Manhattan

recording studio. 50 Cent brushed off the wound in published interviews, yet the wound required 3 stitches.

But prosecutors

are taking matters extremely serious and have labeled The Inc. a violent, criminal

organization, a brand Irv Gotti has vehemently denied.

They are currently

seeking to freeze the assets of MI Records Inc., IG Records Inc. and six properties

and cooperative apartments located in New York and New Jersey worth several

million dollars.

Ja Rule's current

album R.U.L.E. spawned a massive hit, "New York, New York"

and the label has sold a total of 20 million records.

Still Lorenzo vehemently

denied any wrong doing yesterday as he left court.

"I grew up

poor from the streets so I have friends," Lorenzo said. "No way, in

any way, shape or form have I done anything wrong, except make great music that

the people seem to love, and that's all that I'm guilty of."

Prosecutors rebuked

Lorenzo's claim and alleged that McGriff's drug money was deposited into bank

accounts controlled by the Lorenzo brothers.

Authorities claim

Murder Inc. book keeper Cynthia Brent, who was indicted last month, helped hide

the cash by breaking deposits down into amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid

filing mandatory Currency Transaction Reports for cash transactions in excess

of $10,000.

"We will not

tolerate violent drug organizations and those who help them prosper by laundering

their illicit proceeds," said United States Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf.

New York City Police

Commissioner Raymond Kelly stated that McGriff and company were a "triple

threat to the movies and music world: drugs, money laundering and murder."

If convicted, the

defendants face the following maximum sentences:

Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, Dennis Crosby and Nicole Brown –

life imprisonment or the death penalty, based on their participation in the

murder of Eric "E-Money Bags" Smith.

Victor Wright –

life imprisonment or the death penalty, based on his participation in a double

homicide in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Vash-Ti Paylor

– life imprisonment for drug trafficking

Irving Lorenzo,

Christopher Lorenzo, Ronald Robinson (Ja Rule's manager), Cynthia Brent (Murder

Inc. bookkeeper) – 20 years incarceration for money laundering

and a fine of $250,000 each.