In 2010, Cornell Jones, a former gangster, opened up what would be one of DC’s most famous strip clubs. The Stadium Club would come to be known has the hangout spot for celebrities, athletes, and those purveyors of lap dances. But this week, a jury found Jones guilty of misappropriating funds from an HIV/AIDS grant to open the strip club.
This week, a D.C. Superior Court jury found that nonprofit group Miracle Hands, Inc misappropriated funds that were intended for a job-training center from the city’s HIV/AIDS program. The trial took for days and Miracle Hands and its executive director, Cornell Jones, were found guilt and hit with a total of $329,653 in damages, according to Washington City Paper.
Jones received the funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and were distributed by the District’s HIV/AIDS Administration from 2006 to 2008, required that a Northeast warehouse be converted into a job-training facility for people with HIV/AIDS, according to the attorney general’s office.
It wasn’t exactly training for HIV/AID, more so training for new pole dancing moves. The conversion of the warehouse never occurred. Four months after receiving the grant funds, Mr. Jones signed a letter of intent stating that he was negotiating a lease for the same warehouse to be used as a nightclub that would eventually be called the Stadium Club.
By early 2007, according to prosecutors, Miracle Hands had decided to move the job-training facility to 2145 Queens Chapel Road, yet it continued to submit invoices to the District for renovation work at 2127 Queens Chapel Road. And while defendants contended that the location of the job-training facility had changed, the attorney general’s office said witnesses testified that Mr. Jones did not obtain a building permit for the new location until the second year of the grant had nearly expired.
D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan said Tuesday the verdict “should serve as a warning to all those who would attempt to misuse District grant funds.”
Source: Washington City Paper/ Washington Times