Hip-hop label Murder Inc. — home to Ja Rule and Ashanti — allegedly launders illegal profits for a convicted drug kingpin, according to an IRS affidavit unsealed this week and cited by the New York Times. The affidavit also alleges that the kingpin, Kenneth McGriff, was involved in the 2000 shooting of Murder Inc. rival 50 Cent, according to the Associated Press. In addition, it accuses him of continuing to deal drugs, and of accepting payments from Murder Inc. under a false name (McGriff’s lawyer denied the charges).
McGriff has been accused of providing Murder Inc. founder Irv Gotti with the money he used to found the label — an allegation repeated in the affidavit, which was filed in order to obtain a warrant to raid the company’s bank accounts (Gotti has denied the charge). Murder Inc. is currently distributed by Island Def Jam Records, owned by Vivendi Universal; Gotti’s label was asked to vacate its offices in the Def Jam building last month, according to the Los Angeles Times. No charges have yet been brought against the company.