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ICYMI: Shanga Hankerson – Gladys Knight’s Son – Sentenced To Prison Over Chicken & Waffles Restaurant Taxes, Must Pay $1 Million

todayNovember 11, 2021

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Gladys Knight’s son, Shanga Hankerson, 45, has been sentenced to two years in prison after he failed to withhold payroll taxes for his Chicken & Waffles restaurants. Details inside…

After a bizarre saga involving Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles restaurants, the legendary singer’s son, Shanga Hankerson, 45, has been sentenced to serve two years in prison after he failed to withhold payroll taxes for his restaurants.

Previously, Shanga owned four locations of Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles in Georgia and Washington DC.

According to court documents, Shanga opened his first restaurant, Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles, in Atlanta in 1997. Over the next several years, he ended up opening at least three more locations in Georgia and Washington D.C.

However, ish started to hit the fan in 2016. More on that in a few.

As part of being the boss of the popular restaurants, he was required to withhold payroll taxes from his employees’ gross pay. But, he didn’t do it and now he’s paying the price for it.

“Hankerson willfully disregarded his tax obligations for many years,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Payroll taxes fund social insurance programs, including Social Security and Medicare, and are a large source of revenue for the federal government. Employers who fail to comply with their legal obligations will be held accountable.”

“While ownership of a well-known restaurant in our community has its perks, it also comes with great responsibility,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey. “Paying taxes is a way to give back to the community, but unfortunately Hankerson chose to use those funds for other means. This sentencing emphasizes that all employers, big and small, have equal responsibility to collect, report, and pay over their payroll taxes.”

The U.S. Department of Justice reports:

As an employer, Hankerson’s companies were required to withhold from employees’ gross pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”) taxes, which represent Social Security and Medicare taxes, and federal income taxes. Collectively, these withheld taxes are referred to as “payroll taxes.” Specifically, employers are required to file, one month after the conclusion of the calendar quarter, an Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, setting forth the amount of payroll taxes due.

An individual is responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over the payroll taxes if he or she has the authority required to exercise significant control over the employer’s financial affairs. As the sole owner, Hankerson was the responsible person, and he had the responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over payroll taxes due. From at least 2012 to 2016, Hankerson failed to fully remit over $1 million in payroll taxes due.

In July, Shanga pleaded guilty to the felony tax charges.

U.S. District Judge Michael L. Brown sentenced Shanga to two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay restitution of $1,039,310.65.

Drama began to unfold when the family started fighting after accusations of theft, worker complaints and there were even rumors that Shanga used restaurant money for sex parties and marijuana.

In June 2016, the Georgia Department of Revenue shut down three restaurant locations due to theft charges against Shanga. He was accused of stealing $650,000 in state sales and withholding taxes, which after penalties and interest totaled more than $1 million.

He was jailed and then released on $20,000 bond from Clayton County jail and that’s when Gladys began to distance herself from the restaurants.

In 2017, the “Midnight Train To Georgia” singer won a legal battle to cut ties with the restaurant and her son was ordered to stop using her name, likeness and memorabilia. She filed the lawsuit to have her name removed because it was hurting her reputation.

With family like this….

Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Written by: theybf

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