Ja Rule Manager Faces Money-Laundering Charges

Sources: Case stems from probe of The Inc.

Ron Robinson, personal manager for Ja Rule, was arraigned today (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, Billboard.biz has learned.

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 charges that Robinson (aka Gutta and Peoples) conducted financial transactions involving narcotics trafficking between 1997 and 2003.

Robinson, 28, was released on $500,000 bond secured by one of his houses. Conditions of the bond require 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.

Robinson’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

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

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.

Additional reporting by Ed Christman and Brian Garrity.