Photo: Brian Boyer

Gladys Knight’s Son Gets 2 Years Prison Time

According to federal prosecutors in Atlanta, Shanga Hankerson, the son of R&B legend Gladys Knight has been sentenced to two years in prison for failing to withhold payroll taxes for the restaurants that bore his mother’s name.

Hankerson opened his first Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles restaurant in Atlanta in 1997 and opened at least three more locations in Georgia and Washington, D.C. over the next several years.

Now 45, Knight’s son “willfully disregarded his tax obligations for many years,” said the acting U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine in a news release. During his Wednesday sentencing, Hankerson, who pleaded guilty in July, was also ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution as well as serve a year of supervised release following his release from jail.

As the sole owner of the business from at least 2012 thru 2016, Hankerson failed to remit more than $1,000,000 in payroll taxes from his employees’ gross pay.

In a statement about the case, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James Dorsey said: “While ownership of a well-known restaurant in our community has its perks, it also comes with great responsibility.” “Paying taxes is a way to give back to the community, but unfortunately Hankerson chose to use those funds for other means.”

In 2017 Gladys Knight won a legal battle to sever ties to the business and her son was ordered to stop using her name, likeness and memorabilia, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Brian Boyer