Jay-Z has found himself to be a man of interest to the Feds thanks to an investigation surrounding a casino and race track in New York.
Now don’t get it twisted, the Jiggaman himself isn’t in trouble. The Feds are more concerned with how he got involved in AEG’s multi-billion deal for the Aqueduct Race Track and Casino in the Ozone Park area of Queens, New York.
Jay-Z’s friendship with New York Governor David Paterson could be the undoing of the deal AEG (Aqueduct Entertainment Group) had to upgrade the venue, which is the only race track and casino within the New York City limits.
Before AEG was awarded the contract, Jay-Z had partnered with casino tycoon Steve Wynn to bid for control of the project. Wynn partnered up with Jay-Z after Paterson told Wynn that having a minority partner would make his group’s bid look more attractive.
Wynn later pulled out of the bidding. AEG then stepped in and gave Jay 7% ownership of their company before putting their own bid in.
AEG chairman, Richard Mays first approached Jay-Z after the rapper held a press conference with Governor Paterson announcing his 9/11 tribute concert at Madison Square Garden in September.
Federal investigators are looking into whether or not Jay-Z’s personal relationship with Paterson was the only reason why AEG brought him on board.
Representatives for AEG are denying that the relationship had any bearing on the deal.
“Given [Jay-Z’s] superstardom and his long and deep connection to New York, the partners thought he could bring a unique perspective to shaping a facility that would truly be an entertainment destination,” AEG spokesman Jonathan Rosen told the New York Post. “The partners were looking to bring in someone who could bring marketing and community advice to the team.”
Governor Paterson’s representatives are also denying any wrongdoing. “There is absolutely no relationship between Governor Paterson’s friendship with Jay-Z and the choice of AEG,” said a spokeswoman from Paterson’s office.