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Murder Inc

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BUSINESS
May 2, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Murder Inc., which bills itself as "the world's most dangerous record company," has exploited the notoriety of a convicted drug dealer with a reputation for violence to intimidate music industry competitors through threats and extortion, according to a newly unsealed federal affidavit. The document alleges that a secret and seamless relationship has existed for several years between convicted felon Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff and Murder Inc.
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BUSINESS
December 3, 2005 | Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer
Two rap music moguls known for their gangster images and gun-sporting artists were acquitted Friday in federal court in New York on charges that they used their record label as a front to launder $1 million for a convicted drug lord. Irving "Gotti" Lorenzo and his younger brother, Christopher, the president and vice president, respectively, of "gangsta rap" label Murder Inc., had faced as many as 20 years in prison on allegations of laundering money for Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.
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BUSINESS
January 22, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Federal agents began serving grand jury subpoenas at Vivendi Universal's New York offices in conjunction with a money- laundering probe of the music giant's record label Murder Inc., sources said. The Paris-based entertainment conglomerate was directed to turn over royalty records, invoices and other data that could help document financial ties between Murder Inc. founder Irv Gotti and Kenneth Mc- Griff, sources said.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2005 | Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer
Last January, representatives from five law enforcement agencies gathered to triumphantly announce indictments against some of rap music's highest-profile executives. Authorities claimed they had evidence that the president and vice president of "gangster rap" label Murder Inc., Irving "Gotti" Lorenzo and his younger brother Christopher Lorenzo, had laundered $1 million in illegal profit from a narcotics empire overseen by convicted drug dealer Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Gerard "D.O. Cannon" Fields, a rapper tied to Vivendi Universal's beleaguered Murder Inc. label, died Friday after a late-night shooting in the Jamaica district of Queens, N.Y. Fields was shot near 177th Street and 104th Avenue at 11:45 p.m. Thursday. Two men walked up and opened fire on the 26-year-old rapper, hitting him four times. He died just after midnight. The shooting marked the second rap-related murder in Queens this week.
BUSINESS
August 29, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
An associate of Murder Inc. chief Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, whose music label is under federal investigation for alleged money laundering, was taken into custody Thursday as a suspect in the shooting of a New York police captain. Tyran Moore surrendered after a three-hour standoff with dozens of police officers at a residence in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn. Moore, whose street name is Tah Tah, gained notoriety last year in a lyric on "Guess Who's Back?" by 50 Cent, the Queens rap star.
BUSINESS
June 4, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Forensic auditors hired by a lawyer for Vivendi Universal record label Murder Inc. have completed a report that accounts for its business dealings with a convicted drug dealer, people familiar with the situation said. The report could raise questions about government claims that the label was used to launder illicit funds. The auditors were retained by Kaye Scholer, a law firm that represents Murder Inc. founder Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo. The law firm declined to comment.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Federal authorities Friday raided the Manhattan offices of record label Murder Inc. -- home to such pop stars as Ashanti and Ja Rule -- as part of an investigation into the expanding empire of music mogul Irv Gotti. The early-morning action was undertaken by a federal task force that for the last year has been investigating whether Gotti, whose real name is Irving Lorenzo, has financial ties to Kenneth McGriff, the convicted head of a notorious Queens, N.Y., drug gang called the Supreme Team.
BUSINESS
August 21, 2003 | Chuck Philips
The chief of Vivendi Universal rap label Murder Inc. agreed to enter a drug-diversion program in Oakland after his arrest last week on a charge of drug possession. Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, whose label is the target of a federal money-laundering probe, was arrested Friday at the Oakland Coliseum during a concert by R&B star R. Kelly. Lorenzo was charged with misdemeanor drug possession after guards backstage discovered one Ecstasy pill and four Viagra tablets in his wallet during a security check.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Expanding its investigation into the empire of music mogul Irv Gotti, federal authorities Tuesday seized the bank accounts of several companies involved in producing a soundtrack for his label's first film project, "Crime Partners." The movie was produced and co-written by Gotti's friend and business associate, Kenneth McGriff -- who also is the convicted head of a notorious New York City drug gang called the Supreme Team that dominated the crack trade in Jamaica, Queens, during the 1980s.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2005 | Chuck Philips and Thomas S. Mulligan, Times Staff Writers
Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo once saw murder as a metaphor. Back in 1997, when the charismatic music producer got his own record label from Island Def Jam, he named it Murder Inc. because of what he called the moniker's "ill double meaning." "When you have a hot record, people say you put out a hit," he said in a 2003 interview. "I thought, 'I'm going to call my artists murderers, because they put out hits.' This is the whole psyche behind it, man. Nothing more."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2003 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
An associate of rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight pleaded no contest Tuesday to assault with a firearm in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to drop an attempted-murder charge. Timothy McDonald was sentenced to one year in jail and five years' probation. He has credit for serving nearly a year in jail awaiting trial. Last month, a Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in his case after jurors deadlocked on his guilt. McDonald was in court Tuesday for a hearing on his retrial.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Gerard "D.O. Cannon" Fields, a rapper tied to Vivendi Universal's beleaguered Murder Inc. label, died Friday after a late-night shooting in the Jamaica district of Queens, N.Y. Fields was shot near 177th Street and 104th Avenue at 11:45 p.m. Thursday. Two men walked up and opened fire on the 26-year-old rapper, hitting him four times. He died just after midnight. The shooting marked the second rap-related murder in Queens this week.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
Tyran "Tah Tah" Moore was cleared as a suspect Friday in the shooting of a New York police captain but remains in custody on an unrelated weapons charge. Moore, a fringe rap industry figure, was arrested Thursday after a tense, three-hour standoff with police and was held as a suspect in the shooting. But authorities later came to believe that he wasn't involved.
BUSINESS
August 29, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
An associate of Murder Inc. chief Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, whose music label is under federal investigation for alleged money laundering, was taken into custody Thursday as a suspect in the shooting of a New York police captain. Tyran Moore surrendered after a three-hour standoff with dozens of police officers at a residence in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn. Moore, whose street name is Tah Tah, gained notoriety last year in a lyric on "Guess Who's Back?" by 50 Cent, the Queens rap star.
BUSINESS
August 21, 2003 | Chuck Philips
The chief of Vivendi Universal rap label Murder Inc. agreed to enter a drug-diversion program in Oakland after his arrest last week on a charge of drug possession. Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, whose label is the target of a federal money-laundering probe, was arrested Friday at the Oakland Coliseum during a concert by R&B star R. Kelly. Lorenzo was charged with misdemeanor drug possession after guards backstage discovered one Ecstasy pill and four Viagra tablets in his wallet during a security check.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
An associate of Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, the former drug lord whose ties with Vivendi Universal Inc.'s Murder Inc. label are under federal investigation, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in New York. Jon Ragin, a convicted drug trafficker, quietly negotiated a plea bargain last week with U.S. authorities in Brooklyn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2003 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
An associate of rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight pleaded no contest Tuesday to assault with a firearm in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to drop an attempted-murder charge. Timothy McDonald was sentenced to one year in jail and five years' probation. He has credit for serving nearly a year in jail awaiting trial. Last month, a Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in his case after jurors deadlocked on his guilt. McDonald was in court Tuesday for a hearing on his retrial.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2003 | Chuck Philips, Times Staff Writer
An associate of Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, the former drug lord whose ties with Vivendi Universal Inc.'s Murder Inc. label are under federal investigation, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in New York. Jon Ragin, a convicted drug trafficker, quietly negotiated a plea bargain last week with U.S. authorities in Brooklyn.
BUSINESS
June 30, 2003 | Chuck Philips
The star of the film "Crime Partners," John Bryant, and his bodyguards were arrested this month during a routine traffic stop at Washington and La Cienega boulevards, police said last week. On June 13, Culver City police found two loaded handguns in a Cadillac Escalade driven by one of the bodyguards, authorities said. The car apparently was registered to Ja Rule, a star on the Murder Inc. music label. Murder Inc. is an affiliate of French media giant Vivendi Universal.
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