ILOSM fam, the Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles drama has taken another shocking turn. The investigation has uncovered a number of things about her son, Shanga Hankerson, and how he actually spent the restaurant’s misappropriated funds. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he has been accused of spending company funds on sex and drugs.
“He was just stealing money and converting it to his own use,” said Josh Waites, the director of special investigations for the state Department of Revenue.
On paper, the company was making $8 million in annual sales, but years of chaos at the Atlanta institution had pushed it to the brink of collapse. Funds were so scarce that managers rushed to cash employees’ bounced paychecks with money from the downtown restaurant’s safe before Hankerson’s representatives arrived to retrieve it, they said.
“I think he was just in it for the money in the end,” said Charles Preston, 63, who worked as a manager at the downtown location for eight years until he quit in April.
It was discovered that the funds had been used for recreational purposes when investigators began looking at Shanga’s personal belongings. Despite the restaurant’s staggering profits, Shanga didn’t exactly live the life of a profitable businessman. His Cascade home in Atlanta is only valued at $135,000 and it has even been reported that his vehicles were lack thereof. When his car broke down, he began driving the company’s van. “Even the dishwasher drove a better car than Shanga did,” said manager Preston. “People would tease him.”
These company funds went far afield from typical restaurant industry spending. During two months in 2012, more than $1,300 went to Toys R Us, Pottery Barn Kids and video game stores, according to bank statements obtained by the AJC. Hankerson used the money to fly in women from out of town for sex, or have cash taken from the safe to buy marijuana, former employees told investigators. The yo-yo dieter’s corporate funds went to fast food runs to Wendy’s and a meal at a cut-price sushi buffet.
However, that’s not all the investigation has uncovered, thus far. After 16 years of success, Shanga and his business partners have reportedly managed to steer the company into troubled waters. In the short period of time, the restaurant’s quality has also diminished due to lack of funds available to maintain daily operations.gladys-knight-son-1Employees complained of barely having hot water in the restaurant, a broken cooler door was never replaced, and on one occasion they didn’t even have fresh chicken. Last minute trips to local grocery stores had become routine because fresh ingredients were no longer stocked. Suppliers and vendors also refused to deliver anything because the restaurant had garnered a reputation of not paying bills.
Unfortunately, there’s probably much more that will be revealed about this case. The investigation into Shanga Hankerson and Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles will be ongoing.