August 30, 2011; Source: Washington City Paper | A former-drug-kingpin-turned-social-services-provider has been accused by D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan of using city funds to renovate a warehouse into a strip club. The city alleges that Cornell Jones and his nonprofit, Miracle Hands, took $329,653 in city HIV-AIDS funding and used it to outfit a strip joint called the Stadium Club. The city is suing Jones and Miracle Hands for $1 million.
The alleged scam was brought to light by D.C. Councilman David A. Catania, who requested an investigation of Miracle Hands and the Stadium Club back in February.
Before entering the nonprofit world, Jones pursued a career as an international drug trafficker and served a nine-year prison sentence that ended in 1995. He bought the warehouse on Queens Chapel Road in 2002, and then used two city grants in 2006 and 2007 to renovate it into the Stadium Club while claiming that he was actually turning the warehouse into a job-training center for people with HIV-AIDS. Jones sold the Stadium Club to another owner earlier this year for $2.7 million. The job-training center was never built.—Chris Hartman