Irv Gotti Wants To Split Murder And Racketeering Charges

Today in court, lawyers for Irv Gotti requested to separate the Murder Inc. head's federal money laundering case from the murder and racketeering charges of other defendants, including drug kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.

Brooklyn federal judge Edward Korman permitted defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt to ask for Irv Gotti's case to be disconnected from McGriff, who is accused of murder, New York Newsday reported.

When federal prosecutors said they might consider asking for the death penalty for McGriff and two associates, Nicole Brown,41, and Dennis Crosby, 38, Judge Korman said he would separate the non-racketeering defendants if the death penalty is sought.

According to Lefcourt, all of those defendants, including Irv Gotti, whose real name is Irving Lorenzo, and his brother Christopher, will request a split from McGriff's more serious charges.

During a news conference after the hearing Friday, Irv Gotti stated, "I am a self made man. I helped the company make $250 million….I am the youngest of eight kids who never committed a crime."

An indictment in January alleged that McGriff spearheaded the murder of Eric "E. Money Bags" Smith on July 16, 2001 in Queens. Irv Gotti was accused of filtering $1 million in drug funds through Murder Inc. Records, and two other Lorenzo companies, IG Records and MI Records, were charged.

Lefcourt denied prosecutors' claim that Irv helped launder a portion of the drug money through a film called "Crime Partners" that McGriff was involved in. The lawyer further stated that prosecutors put Irv and the Inc. on the indictment as a way to garner more attention for the federal charges.

Irv and Christopher Lorenzo, and several other record company employees were released on bail. McGriff, Brown and Crosby are being held without bail.