be in the pay of somebody/something

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be in the pay of (someone or something)

To work or do business for a person or group, usually clandestinely. Oh, he isn't in the pay of the mob—that's just a rumor.
See also: of, pay

be in the pay of somebody/something

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be in somebody’s/something’s pay

(usually disapproving) be working for somebody or for an organization, often secretly: He’s been in the pay of our rivals for the last ten years.
See also: of, pay, somebody, something