Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo and his brother Christopher surrendered to authorities
in a murder conspiracy and money-laundering probe, while alleged drug kingpin
Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff was formally charged with murder.
The Lorenzos surrendered
to the FBI today (January 26) at 10:00 am on various counts of money laundering.
Federal investigators accuse
McGriff and the Lorenzo’s of laundering millions of drug proceeds through
the The Inc. label that Gotti owned jointly with Island Def Jam.
McGriff, who is in prison
on a gun charge, is charged with murder, racketerring and other crimes. Police
also suspect McGriff in a drug-related double slaying in Owings Mills, Maryland.
In that incident, police
found $30,000 in cash in a Baltimore 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 funded.
McGriff was an executive
producer of the film, and Murder Inc. signed on to market the movie and release
A $500,000 cash advance
was paid to McGriff from Murder Inc.’s parent company, Island Def Jam.
In the same house, police
found a surveillance videotape which bears the recording dates of July 13-16,
On the tape, Eric “E-Money
Bags” Smith is captured parking his SUV on the Queens street where he
was gunned down on July 16th, 2001.
Informants have told authorities
that McGriff allegedly admitted to the slaying of rapper Smith, who was shot
10 times in his SUV.
In November of 2004, a Queens,
New York couple was charged with the murder of Smith, who authorities say was
shot out of revenge for alleged drug kingpin Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff.
Law enforcement officials
claim that McGriff ordered Smith's murder to avenge the murder of a friend,
Colbert “Black Just” Johnson.
Sources stated that Smith
shot Colbert in the leg, fatally striking a main artery.
Gotti has denied any knowledge
of McGriff dealing drugs while working with The Inc.
"I never saw Supreme
with no bags of cash,” Gotti told the Los Angeles Times last year. “To
be honest with you, though, I can't swear he never sold drugs after he got out
of prison. I'm not going to sit here and say I definitely know he didn't. But
I'm going to tell you this: If he did, he wasn't doing it very good. Because
he was always broke. That much I can attest to. The Supreme I know in 2003 isn't
the rich, powerful drug dealer with the $200,000-a-day crack enterprise the
government busted in the 1980s. The Supreme I know did not have a dime."
According to investigators,
couriers carried almost $1 million in cash to the label’s offices at 825
Police believe the money
was laundered through the record label and then funneled back to McGriff.
Investigators claim that
McGriff was really in control of the Murder Inc. label and that the label was
funded by McGriff’s drug proceeds.
Gotti has denied
those charges, claiming that Island Def Jam provided the intitial startup cash
for the label, which is home to Ashanti, Ja Rule and others.
are now seeking to confiscate all assets of The Inc.