Ron Robinson, personal manager for rap artist Ja Rule, was arraigned Nov. 17 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., on charges of money laundering and money-laundering conspiracy involving more tha

NEW YORK -- Ron Robinson, personal manager for rap artist Ja Rule, was arraigned Nov. 17 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., on charges of money laundering and money-laundering conspiracy involving more than $1 million, ELW has learned. Two more individuals were indicted Nov. 18.

According to sources, the charges stem from an ongoing investigation of record label The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc.). That investigation reportedly involves alleged ties to drug trafficking, money laundering and gang activities.

The two-count indictment against Robinson (aka Gutta and Peoples) charges him with conducting financial transactions involving narcotics trafficking between 1997 and 2003.

Robinson, 28, was released on a $500,000 bond, which requires him to surrender his passport; restrict travel within the United States with permission of the court, the U.S. attorney and pre-trial services; and submit to random drug tests, a source says.

Additionally, Dennis Crosby, aka "Divine" and "Howbout," and Nicole Brown, aka "Nicole Lawe" and "Nicole Spooner," were indicted Nov. 18 as members of an "enterprise" for racketeering activity involving murder, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and unlawful use of firearms.

The four-count indictment charges that Crosby, Brown and others were involved in the 2001 murder of Eric Smith, aka E. Money Bags, a Queens, N.Y., rapper.

A week earlier, Cynthia Brent, aka "Cynthia Carr," was indicted on a money-laundering conspiracy. Sources say Carr has been employed as a bookkeeper for The Inc.

Ja Rule's album "R.U.L.E.," released by The Inc./Def Jam, debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 on Nov. 17.

Former Def Jam Music Group A&R executive Irv Gotti founded Murder Inc. in 1997; its name was changed to The Inc. in November 2003. The label has been instrumental in the careers of such hip-hop artists as Ashanti, Jay-Z and DMX.

Robinson's attorney could not be reached for comment. Representatives for The Inc. and the District Attorney's office had no comment.

Brian Garrity contributed to this report.

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