In part 4 of SOHH.com's pre-trial coverage of the Murder Inc case, prison transcripts exclusively obtained by SOHH.com reveal how Irv and Chris Gotti are going broke as their rap empire crumbles.
Prison transcripts recorded between March and April of this year provide a telling tale of the critical monetary position the Lorenzo brothers are facing in light of the federal money laundering and conspiracy charges being waged against them. The brothers talk freely by phone with co-defendant and "friend", Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, revealing the depth of the fall of the once prosperous rap label, Murder Inc.
On March 7th, 2005 Chris Lorenzo Gotti and Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff converse by phone about money, among other things. Here, Supreme asks Chris for $500 for what appears to be family support.
KM: Um, you got $500 on you?
CL: Me, I ain't got a fucking dime-I got 10 dollars right now.
KM: Oh shit.
CL: Like I'm fucked up right now, man.
Chris later relents, saying he'll get the money to him "tomorrow."
Weeks later on March 29th, Irv Gotti talks by phone with Supreme about the burden of their legal fees. During the talk, Irv recounts to Supreme a conversation he had previously with Supreme's lawyer, Simel, in which he admits to the attorney of being financially "fucked up", but gives the attorney his word that he will get paid for representing Supreme and "keeping him out of jail."
L: I said [to Simel] you ain't got to worry about nothing. I'm fucked up right now. I said I'm not gonna bullshit you and tell you something I'm not. I'm fucked up right now, but I said said listen, I know how to make money. And as long as I know how to make money....
Irv goes on to tell Supreme how he told Simels to look out for Supreme and that he would personally guarantee his payment. He vows to Supreme that "every time I get some money, I'm gonna kick this ***** a little bit of money." Irv then admits "I'm struggling *****, but I'm gonna make good *****."
Later in the same conversation, Supreme asks about Jay-Z, suggesting that Jay may be able to throw his monetary or personal support their way:
KM: What's up with Jay and them, yo?
IL: Jay and them is, you know Jay is Jay, out for Jay. You know what I'm saying, he's good though.... I'll tell you this, Jay he always asks... about you... you know what I'm saying?
A month later, during a phone conversation on April 29th, Chris Gotti tells Supreme that the label's financial troubles are dire and that there have been layoffs at Murder Inc.
CL: Irv laid off everybody-
CL: Now we about, what is it now, a month, a month and a half? Yeah so ***** ain't got a dollar for like a month and a half.
This past July 28th, SOHH.com broke the news of Def Jam dissolving its contract with Murder Inc. further contributing to the financial demise of the Lorenzo brothers and Murder Inc. It is estimated that the Lorenzo brothers have spent upwards of a half million dollars in legal fees to fight the federal charges of "money laundering." The case will go before the courts this coming Monday.