Two associates of Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, the convicted drug dealer linked to a probe of rap label Murder Inc., have cut plea deals with federal prosecutors on fraud, money laundering and related charges.
Jon Ragin and Derek Hayes were rounded up in a series of raids in New York in January that included the Murder Inc. offices (see "Drugs, Friends and Allegations: Inside the Murder Inc. Raid"). Ragin and Hayes were accused of using a tuxedo rental shop in New York as a front for a credit-card-fraud and money-laundering operation.
Ragin was of particular interest to federal investigators, the U.S. District Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New York, said. They believe he is a close associate of McGriff, who is suspected of laundering money through Murder Inc. Records. Ragin was a co-producer of the Murder Inc. film "Crime Partners," which was released straight to DVD.
McGriff was recently sent to prison for 37 months on an unrelated gun charge. Federal prosecutors in the Murder Inc. probe are still investigating him. There have been no charges filed against the head of Murder Inc., Irv Gotti (see "Gotti Shrugs Off Legal Woes, Challenges Feds To Throw Kitchen Sink At Him").
Last week, Ragin pleaded guilty to credit-card fraud and money laundering and could face up to 19 years in prison at his sentencing October 31, the U.S. District Attorney's office said. Hayes pleaded guilty only to the minor charge of assisting Ragin in making illegal bank deposits. He'll face a year or less in prison at his sentencing October 6.