The FBI raided the offices of Del Records, the label responsible for launching the career of Mexican-American singer Gerardo Ortíz, on Friday. The move could be in connection with the ongoing litigation between the artist and the record label he parted from last year.
“The FBI executed multiple search warrants today, one of the locations was Del Records,” FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller told Billboard. She also noted that no arrest warrants were issued.
Even though the FBI has not spoken on the specifics of the investigation, Del Records and Ortíz have their own takes on why the raid happened. “To the best of our knowledge, Del Records is not a subject, but merely a source of information for the FBI’s investigation of Mr. Ortíz. We have cooperated fully with the FBI and will continue to do,” reads Del Records statement.
A statement from Ortíz’s team insists the FBI is investigating Del Records CEO Jose Angel del Villar. “Gerardo Ortíz currently has a lawsuit pending before the Los Angeles Superior Court and the California Labor Commissioner against the Del companies for alleged fraudulent conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and violation of the Talent Agencies Act for swindling Mr. Ortiz out of many tens of millions of dollars. To our knowledge the search by the FBI at Del Records office and Mr. Del Villar’s home does not involve Mr. Ortíz,” reads the statement. Variety confirmed the FBI searched an address linked to Del Villar.
Ortíz has been locked in a legal battle with Del Records since announcing his departure from the label in March 2019. He sued the imprint that April in a counterclaim for the reasons listed above. In their original suit against Ortíz, Del Records alleged the singer violated his recording contract and did not deliver his sixth album after the label refused to pay him loans in cash to settle his tax debts.