Gladys Knight's Son Shanga Hankerson Jailed In $1M Felony Theft & Tax Evasion Probe
Credit: WGCL

Gladys Knight’s Son Shanga Hankerson Jailed

Hours after the Georgia Department of Revenue raided three metro Atlanta Gladys Knight‘s Chicken & Waffle restaurants, the singer’s son, Shanga Hankerson, turn himself in to authorities on a felony warrant for theft and tax evasion.

Hankerson, 39, was booked into Clayton County Jail in Jonesboro, Georgia, just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday.


Hankerson faces six racketeering charges, on claims he stole $1 million from the state by failing to submit taxes for the business. Authorities allege the stolen money was used to fund a private school education for his children as well as three vehicles.

A RICO lawsuit by Clayton County alleges the company is a criminal enterprise, claiming they stole tax money and filed false statements when filing tax returns. The totals allegedly stolen include sales tax to the tune of $520,000, and about $140,000 in withholding tax, held from employees’ checks to pay taxes throughout the year.

With penalties and interest, Hankerson is alleged to owe the government $1 million.

Shanga appeared in court on Wednesday and was released after posting $22,400 bond.

Gladys’ publicist released a statement saying the singer was not involved in her son’s shady shenanigans.

Gladys Knight lent her name to her son’s restaurants in the Atlanta area, similar to a celebrity endorsement.  Ms. Knight was not involved in any way with the operation of the restaurants and she is sure that her son and his business partners will rectify the situation.  As always, her main concern is for her family’s well-being and she is making sure the family has the guidance they need to assess the situation and move forward.

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