Who Is Holding Jay Z’s $20 Million Master Tapes Hostage?

Producer who worked with Jay questioned in alleged plot to sell recordings.

A producer who worked with Jay Z at Roc-A-Fella Records is allegedly at the center of an extortion plot over master tapes that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.

According to TMZ, a producer named Chauncey Mahan was questioned on Friday by authorities in connection with an alleged extortion and theft plot centered on Jigga masters that were thought to be missing.

The master recordings made between 1998 and 2002 were reported missing in 2002, with Jay’s camp assuming they were lost. Last Friday, Mahan — who reportedly had a number of the recordings in his California storage facility — contacted Live Nation and said he was either going to auction the tapes or hand them over for a $100,000 “storage” fee. Live Nation has a deal with Jay that covers their joint venture, Roc Nation.

It’s unknown how the tapes, valued between $15-$20 million, got into Mahan’s hands. Authorities questioned the producer on Friday in connection with the alleged plot after Mahan reportedly agreed to sell them to Live Nation for $75,000.

According to TMZ, when Mahan took Jay’s people to the storage facility on Friday to complete the deal, the Los Angeles Police Department was there and they detained Mahan, who agreed to be questioned at the police station. He also handed over the tapes to the LAPD until a judge determines proper ownership.

A spokesperson for Jay Z could not be reached for comment at press time.

While Mahan was not arrested, Jigga’s team filed a grand larceny complaint on Friday with the NYPD, who are also investigating the case; the Beverly Hills Police Department is investigation the extortion allegations because Live Nation is based in their jurisdiction.

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