As the money laundering
and racketeering trial gets underway today (Oct. 24) against The Inc. (formerly
Murder Inc.) and the Gotti brothers (Irv and Chris Lorenzo); the federal government
recently provided alleged money laundering evidence against the defendants.
Ethan Brown, writer of new book "Queens Reigns Supreme:
Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler," will cover the
trial for AllHipHop.com and explain the case in detail to readers.
Here is some of the evidence the government plans to use against
pager records and copies of checks ranging from $38,000 to $100,000 from Full
Circle Entertainment and prison phone records from Kenneth “Supreme”
Records from the Westin Swissotel Atlanta for John Simms (an alias for Kenneth
of Accounts from HSBC Bank from 10/1/02-10/31/02 and 11/30/02-12/31/02 for John
from the Ritz Carlton for Leslie Pridgen.
and conviction for Kenneth McGriff dated 11/29/88 of operating a Continuing
Criminal Enterprise (CCE). McGriff was sentenced to 12 years.
The US attorney’s office in Brooklyn conducted a two-year
investigation into The Inc., assessing the extent of the links between the label
and convicted drug lord Kenneth ‘Supreme’ McGriff.
In 2003 raided the Manhattan offices of the label seeking evidence
to solidify their case.
Shortly thereafter, McGriff, who is being tried separately from
Irv, was charged with the retalitory murder of Eric “E Money Bags”
Smith and various drug and weapons charges. Feds say Smith was gunned down for
the murder of Colbert "Black Just" Johnson.
Federal prosecutors continue to maintain that The Inc. was founded
by McGriff using drug proceeds.
McGriff 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.
Irv Gotti has previously denied any wrongdoing and said that
Murder Inc. was founded using $2 million dollars in seed money from Def Jam.
If convicted, McGriff, who also faces murder charges, could
receive the death penalty.
The Inc. CEO Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Christopher
pleaded not guilty in January to money laundering charges.
book is causing a firestorm, offering a glimpse into the drug dealing underworld
that has ensnared The Inc., and affected the careers of various rappers.
Additionally, the book reveals the name of the gunman who allegedly
shot 50 Cent in 2000.
Brown’s book claims that Darryl "Hommo" Baum,
a stickup artist from Brooklyn, was the person behind 50 Cent’s shooting.
While 50 Cent himself has offered a number of possible suspects,
in the song “Many Men,” 50 Cent references Baum’s murder.
Hommo shot me, three weeks later he got shot down/Now it’s
clear that I’m here, for a real reason/ ’cause he got hit like I
got hit, but he ain’t f***ing breathing
was allegedly gunned down by Lil’ Kim’s ex-boyfriend Damion “World”
Hardy and his notorious Cash Money Brothers crew.
Hardy was hit with federal RICO charges in July, alleging that
he was the head of the murderous Brooklyn gang that operated out of Bedford
Stuyvesant, New York.
The area has produced some of hip-hop's most legendary rappers,
including Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane, Fab 5 Freddy producer Easy
Mo Bee and others.
Baum’s murder is one of several murders that Hardy and
other CMB have been charged with.
Authorities also investigated Hardy’s involvement in a
September 2003 shooting at the Doubletree Hotel in Jersey City, where 50 Cent
and entourage were staying.
50 Cent had made disparaging remarks about Lil’ Kim on
Funkmaster Flex’s Hot 97 show and hours later shots were reportedly fired
at the rapper and his entourage.
Police later charged a man associated with 50 Cent in the shooting.
intertwining nature of the Queens drug culture and the music business is detailed
in “Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip-Hop
The book hits stores Nov. 22. The
author, Ethan Brown, will provide documents and explanations to AllHipHop.com
during the The Inc.’s federal money laundering and racketeering trial.