*A collection of Jay Z master recordings valued between $15 and $20 million is reportedly the object of a theft and extortion plot, reports TMZ.
Law enforcement sources tell the website that producer Chauncey Mahan, who worked with Jay Z from 1998-2002, was questioned Friday in connection with the alleged plot.
Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records recorded numerous master recordings between 1998 – 2002. According to TMZ, the masters went missing in 2002. Jay Z and his people assumed they were lost.
This past Friday, a number of the masters turned up in Mahan’s storage facility in Northridge, CA. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that he allegedly contacted Live Nation, which has a joint venture with Jay Z called Roc Nation, and said he would either let the tapes go up for auction or give them the tapes for a $100,000 “storage fee.” According to TMZ, Mahan eventually agreed to take $75,000.
On Friday, Mahan reportedly went to the storage facility to seal the deal with Jay Z’s people, only to find out the whole thing was part of a police sting. Cops detained Mahan and he agreed to come into the station for questioning. He also agreed to let the LAPD take possession of the tapes until a judge determines ownership, reports TMZ.
Mahan was not arrested, but TMZ’s sources say the Beverly Hills PD is investigating the extortion allegations because that’s where Live Nation is based. Also, Jay Z’s people reportedly filed a grand larceny complaint Friday with the NYPD and that investigation is ongoing.