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D.C. HIV/AIDS Organization Charged With Taking Federal Money and Opening Exotic Dancing Club

September 2, 2011

Washington, D.C., Attorney General Irvin Nathan has accused Miracle Hands Inc. of spending nearly $330,000 in federal tax dollars on an exotic dance club, instead of using the money for what it was intended for -- a job training center for people living with HIV. Nathan is suing the organization for $988,959 in damages.

What's really interesting is how Miracle Hands got away with it -- some are citing that it was an inside job. The Washington Examiner reported:

The grants for the renovations to the warehouse at 2127 Queens Chapel Road NE, were first given to Miracle Hands in 2006 by the District's HIV/AIDS administration. Earlier this month, an inspector general's audit of the administration found that during the four-year tenure of the agency's former director, Debra Rowe, little attention was paid to how dollars were spent by service providers, even as the city's HIV/AIDS rate reached epidemic levels.

When Rowe was fired in 2008, she went to work for Miracle Hands as its executive director. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In November 2006, nearly one year after Miracle Hands first won its grant to renovate the Queens Chapel Road warehouse, a city grant monitor visited the site and found little work had been done toward meeting a March 2007 deadline, the lawsuit said.

The monitor advised Rowe that Miracle Hands' funding should be cut. But Rowe, called a "close friend of Jones" in the lawsuit, reportedly said the project was on pace and kept the funding in place. By then, though, Jones had already transferred a liquor license from a strip club he owned in Southeast to the Miracle Hands warehouse in Northeast, the suit said.

With so many organizations fighting tooth and nail for funding in these difficult economic times, it's upsetting to hear reports about the fleecing of HIV funds for personal gain.

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.


Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 
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News About HIV/AIDS Support & Care in Washington, D.C.

 

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