September 2, 2011

DC Attorney General Sues To Get Back More Than $320,000 In Grant Funds For Planned HIV/AIDS Facility That Opened As Nightclub!

WUSA channel 9 news
written by Meta Puttus
Tuesday August 30, 2011

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- DC is suing Miracle Hands, Inc. to recover funds that were "improperly diverted from the District's HIV/AIDS program," announced District of Columbia Attorney General Irvin Nathan on Tuesday.

The District filed a civil enforcement action against the non-profit corporation and its executive director, Cornell Jones Tuesday. The complaint alleges that Miracle Hands used District grant funds to pay for renovations at a former warehouse that is now operated as a nightclub. The grant required that the warehouse be converted into a job-training facility for people with HIV/AIDS, but that never happened.

According to the attorney general, the complaint alleges that Miracle Hands improperly received more than $320,000 for renovation work during 2006-2008 at two former warehouses in the 2100 block of Queens Chapel Road, N.E. The District is seeking damages and penalties exceeding $1 million. The complaint includes claims for violations of the District's False Claims Act, and common law claims for conversion and unjust enrichment.

According to the complaint, Miracle Hands decided by early 2007 to change the location of the planned job-training facility but continued to submit invoices to the District for renovation work at that location. Then, according to the complaint, a nightclub liquor license was secured in August 2006 for the location, and after renovation it was opened in 2010 as the Stadium nightclub.


This is how ABC news is reporting this theft of public funds:

WJLA ABC7 news
written by Staff
Wednesday August 31, 2011

(AP, WJLA) -- An official with a local group that was accused of misusing D.C. AIDS grant money says that reports of their alleged financial mismanagement is inaccurate.

Cornell Jones, the Community Development President of Miracle Hands, says that a report in the Washington Post about his group is "filled with inaccuracies" and "false and misleading statements."

Miracle Hands is accused in a lawsuit of using money from the District's HIV/AIDS program to renovate a warehouse that's now a strip club. The lawsuit alleges that the group and its executive director improperly diverted nearly $330,000 in grant money for renovation work at two warehouses.

Jones says that he's an "easy target" for criticism because of his past as a drug kingpin.

"I know people were expecting us to make a mistake," he said in a statement. "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."

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