Lawyers for IRVING 'IRV GOTTI' LORENZO are seeking to have the rap mogul's federal money laundering case severed from the murder and racketeering charges surrounding other defendants.

Yesterday (18MAR05), defense attorney GERALD LeFCOURT was given the greenlight by Brooklyn, New York, federal Judge EDWARD KORMAN to ask for Lorenzo's case to be separated from that of accused murderer KENNETH 'SUPREME' McGRIFF.

Federal prosecutors say they are considering whether to ask for the death penalty in the case against McGriff and two associates, Nicole Brown and DENNIS Crosby. If that happens Korman says he will sever the non-racketeering defendants.

A January (05) indictment accused McGriff of engineering the 2001 murder of ERIC 'E MONEY BAGS' SMITH in New York.

Lorenzo, 34, was accused in the indictment with laundering $1 million (GBP526,315) in drug proceeds through his record company Murder Inc, home to such stars as Ashanti and Ja Rule.

Prosecutors accuse Lorenzo of helping to launder some of the drug funds through the film CRIME PARTNERS with which McGriff was involved. But Lefcourt denies the claim.

Lorenzo's brother CHRISTOPHER, 37, is also charged in the money laundering case.

19/03/2005 02:28