Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has landed himself at the centre of an investigation - due to his allegedly aggressive political lobbying efforts.

The Def Jam boss is suspected of using extreme lobbying in an attempt to convince politicians to repel New York's harsh drug laws.

Also implicated is former President Bill Clinton's cabinet secretary Andrew Cuomo and former gubernatorial candidate THOMAS GOLISANO, who have allegedly spent in excess of $2,000 (GBP1,250) influencing state officials. Under law, anyone spending above this sum must register with the commission first.

Lobbying commission executive director DAVID GRANDEAU says, "The commission is investigating Russell Simmons and other folks to see if they engaged in lobbying without properly registering with the state and documenting their spending."

The watchdog is also checking to see if Simmons gave an illegal gift of a free helicopter ride to SECRETARY OF STATE RANDY DANIELS last week (begs16JUN03).

26/06/2003 17:17