Broadening an investigation into criminal activity at music label The Inc., federal officials Wednesday arrested the manager of rap star Ja Rule for money laundering.
Ron "Gutta" Robinson, 29, was arraigned on money laundering charges in a Brooklyn, N.Y., court and released on $500,000 bond. The indictment was handed down on the same day that Ja Rule captured the No. 7 slot on the nation's pop chart with his new "R.U.L.E." CD, after selling nearly 166,000 copies last week.
The indictment follows a two-year probe by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which is investigating whether Irving "Gotti" Lorenzo, The Inc.'s founder, was laundering proceeds from drug sales for a former drug lord named Kenneth McGriff, known in rap music circles as "Supreme."
According to the indictment, Robinson conspired with others at the label to launder more than $1 million from 1997 to 2002, involving cash proceeds from narcotics trafficking. Last week, authorities arrested Cynthia Brent, a bookkeeper for The Inc., named on money laundering charges.
The Inc., which also releases recordings by R&B star Ashanti, is owned by Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group.
Neither Robinson, The Inc., nor Universal representatives could be reached for comment.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times