A nonprofit in Washington, D.C. is being sued for allegedly using HIV/AIDS grant money to spruce up a warehouse that eventually became Stadium Club, a combination steakhouse and strip club.
D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan filed a suit against former gangster Cornell Jones and his nonprofit Miracle Hands on Tuesday. Jones, who is the Community Development President of Miracle Hands, is accused of using $330,000 in grant money to renovate two warehouses in D.C., one of which opened in 2010 as the “premier gentleman’s club” and “five-star dining” Stadium Club. The club had leased the building from Jones until March, when he sold it for $2.7 million to current owner Keith Forney, the Washington Times reported.
Miracle Hands, which says it aims to “meet the needs of the city’s most under-privileged and neglected communities,” had said it intended to use the funding to open a job-training center for those infected with HIV/AIDS.
From a statement by Nathan, via the Washington City Paper:
The Complaint charges that although Miracle Hands had decided by early 2007 to change the location of its planned job-training facility from 2127 Queens Chapel Road to 2145 Queens Chapel Road, it continued to submit invoices to the District for renovation work performed at the 2127 Queens Chapel Road location. A nightclub liquor license was secured in August 2006 for the 2127 Queens Chapel Road location, which, following its renovation, was opened in 2010 as the Stadium Club.
Nathan is seeking damages totaling more than $1 million.
Jones denied the charges and said in a statement that he’s an “easy target” for a suit like this because of his past as a drug kingpin, adding that characterizations of his group are “filled with inaccuracies” and “false and misleading statements.”
“I know people were expecting us to make a mistake,” said Jones. “Instead, we developed one of the most comprehensive programs for poor HIV-AIDS residents in the city at a time when this community didn’t know how to deal with the challenges.”