Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles is just barely recovering from it’s last media pounding after it’s downtown location failed health inspections ealier this year (click here if you missed that).
Now, all 3 ‘Chicken and Waffles’ locations were shut down and raided by the feds after Georgia’s Department of Revenue accused Knight’s son, Shanga Hankerson, of theft and tax evasion.
For the record, ‘Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles’, an Atlanta dining institution that features Southern favorites, is named after the famed singer but she’s not actually the owner of the business.
Knight’s son, Shanga Hankerson, is the owner of the three Atlanta-area restaurants and he’s been accused of stealing over $650,000 in sales taxes and withholding taxes owed to the state of Georgia.
“After penalties and interest the total exceeds $1 million,” the department said.
“The department further alleges that Hankerson used these funds for personal use.”
All 3 Chicken and Waffles restaurant locations in Atlanta were raided by Department of Revenue agents a few days ago as they executed search warrants.
According to the agency statement, they also executed search warrants on the corporate office in Riverdale, Georgia, and “unsuccessfully attempted to serve arrest warrants on Shanga Hankerson … at his home.”
Revenue officials seized Hankerson’s bank accounts and three luxury vehicles.
Hankerson was reportedly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Tuesday when the raid occurred and authorities negotiated terms of his surrender to Georgia authorities.
This is not the first time Hankerson has been in hot water over taxes. Agency spokesman William Gaston told CNN:
“He has been in over two dozen payment plans and has defaulted on all of them. It extends to 2013.
They have all been for sales and withholding tax,”
Knight, a seven-time Grammy winner, is not suspected of any criminal activity in the case against her son.
The follwing statement was released by her PR agency to CNN:
“Gladys Knight lent her name to her son’s restaurants in the Atlanta area, similar to a celebrity endorsement.
Ms. Knight was not involved in any way with the operation of the restaurants and she is sure that her son and his business partners will rectify the situation.
As always, her main concern is for her family’s well-being and she is making sure the family has the guidance they need to assess the situation and move forward.”
Ms Knight certainly separated herself from that drama quit fast and in a hurry!