An L.A. Times story implicating associates of Sean "Diddy" Combs in a non-fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur in 1994 was unwittingly based on forged FBI documents created by a con man, the paper admitted. The mea culpa came after a report by website The Smoking Gun, whose editor William Bastone said he immediately "thought something smelled" after looking at the FBI documents posted on the paper's Web site — particularly the fact that they appeared to originate from a typewriter, although the bureau's agents switched to computers about 30 years ago. One of the two men involved in setting up the rapper, the Times said, was promoter James Sabatino, a ninth-grade dropout now in prison for unrelated crimes. The Smoking Gun reported that it was Sabatino who created fake FBI interview summaries, known as 302s, that the Times said reflected agent discussions with a "confidential informant." It's unclear why Sabatino would create documents implicating himself in a criminal investigation, but the Smoking Gun story suggested that he wanted to portray himself "as a feared hip-hop figure who muscled and conned rappers into deals."

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