D.A. Accuses Puffy Of Allegedly Bribing Driver

Sean "Puffy" Combs' legal situation got even more complicated on Thursday, as a Manhattan district attorney claimed that the rap mogul attempted to bribe his driver to take the fall for several gun possession charges currently leveled against Combs.

Prosecutors made the accusations during a pre-trial hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court in which the district attorney's office was looking to raise Combs' bail from $10,000 to $150,000, according to "The New York Daily News."

In the hearing, prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos claimed that Puffy attempted to bribe driver Wardel Fenderson in front of several police officers at the Midtown South precinct station where Combs and girlfriend Jennifer Lopez were questioned following the shooting at Club New York on December 27.

Combs allegedly offered Fenderson $50,000 to take the blame for a stolen gun found in the vehicle Lopez and Puffy fled the nightclub in, even offering Fenderson the diamond pinkie ring Lopez had given

him in November for his 30th birthday as collateral.

Prosecutors also alluded to the fact that they may ask a grand jury to indict Combs on a bribery charge, noting that the grand jury was still reviewing evidence in the case and had yet to be dismissed.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has not returned calls from MTV News seeking information about if and when prosecutors would ask the grand jury to indict Combs on the additional charge.

Bogdanos also asked Judge Charles Solomon to raise Combs' bail because its office considered the rapper-entrepreneur, who is slated to launch a European tour on March 14 in Dublin, Ireland, to be a potential flight risk.

After Thursday's hearing, one of Puffy's attorneys, Benjamin Brafman, strongly contested the notion that Combs might flee prosecution.

"Suggesting that Mr. Combs is a flight risk is ludicrous," Brafman said. "He is

immediately recognized wherever he goes. But more importantly, he has no intention of running away from this.

"He has every intention of addressing this case responsibly in a courtroom," Brafman continued, "and he fully expects to be exonerated, because he knows he didn't commit a crime on the night in question." [RealVideo]

Judge Solomon said he would decide whether or not to raise Combs' bail during the next scheduled hearing for the case, set for February 22.