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DC Attorney General Sues To Get Back Grant Funds For Planned HIV/AIDS Facility That Opened As Nightclub

4:27 PM, Aug 30, 2011   |    comments
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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.

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