Charges Expected Against Murder Inc Print
Written by Robert ID751   
Monday, 24 January 2005 21:56

Federal authorities are expected to hit imprisoned drug kingpin Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff and hip-hop & raps Murder Inc. records founder Irving (Irv Gotti) Lorenzo with racketeering, murder and money laundering charges this week, the Daily News is reporting.

Law enforcement sources said charges against the two and seven others will be announced tomorrow by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf along with officials from the NYPD, FBI and other federal agencies.

McGriff will be charged with ordering multiple hits, including the 2001 killing of aspiring rapper Eric (E-Moneybags) Smith in Queens, sources said. Two associates of McGriff's already have been charged with Smith's murder, and prosecutors are weighing whether to seek the death penalty against them.

Irving (Irv Gotti) Lorenzo will be charged with money laundering as a result of a probe of McGriff handing off drug cash to Murder Inc.

In addition to the criminal charges, the feds will forge ahead with a civil forfeiture action against the defendants that could strip them of millions of dollars. The label, which features hip-hop’s Ashanti and rap artist Ja Rule, changed its name to The Inc. in 2003.

Lawyers for McGriff, 44, and Lorenzo, 34, said they were unaware charges were imminent.

"I will say what I have said before," said Lorenzo's lawyer Gerald Lefcourt. "Murder Inc. records was started with legitimate money."

McGriff is in federal prison in West Virginia, serving a 37-month sentence for a gun conviction.

Late last year, the federal agents put the squeeze on Murder Inc.'s bookkeeper Cynthia Brent and the rapper Ja Rule's manager, Ron (Gutta) Robinson, charging them with conspiring to launder more than $1 million in drug cash.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the case.