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AIDS Group Used Tax Funds for DC Strip Club

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 01, 2011 6:44 AM

Miracle Hands Inc., a HIV/AIDS service provider in the D.C. area, is accused of using $330,000 worth of federal funds to start a strip club. Coincidentally, Miracle Hands owner Cornell Jones is a former D.C. drug kingpin.

Miracle Hands was going to turn a warehouse into a job training center for residents with HIV/AIDS. Instead, they turned the warehouse into the "Stadium Club," which is a gentleman's club, prosecutors allege.

The city is now asking for around $988,959 in damages, the Washington Examiner reports.

Officials started an investigation into the non-profit in 2009. Miracle Hands was given funds by the District's HIV/AIDS administration in 2006. The job training facility was meant to open by March 2007, according to the Washington Examiner.

It never did.

The deadline to complete the center was extended for another year in 2007, and additional funds were given to the non-profit in order to complete the project. Miracle Hands then informed the administration that it had decided to use a different warehouse to open its job training center. No such job training center ever opened, the Washington Examiner reports.

The city's lawsuit alleges that Miracle Hands improperly billed them for the job training center when none was ever built. It's possible that the non-profit could be accused of fraud or misrepresentation.

Jones says that his group is being targeted for criticism partially because of his criminal past, the AP reports. And that the government's suit against his non-profit organization is filled with inaccurate statements.

Jones says that Miracle hands has "developed one of the most comprehensive programs for poor HIV-AIDS residents" in DC, according to the AP.

Well, who's right: Cornell Jones and Miracle Hands, or the DC prosecutors? It's up to the court to decide the case now, and to figure out if funds really were misallocated.

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