Gladys Knight’s son sentenced to prison for tax crimes

Shanga Hankerson withheld payroll taxes for the restaurant’s that shared his mother’s name

Sam Moore
Friday 05 November 2021 19:08
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Gladys Knight’s son, Shanga Hankerson, has been sent to prison for withholding payroll taxes at the restaurants which bare his mother’s name.

Hankerson, who runs Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles, received a two year sentence and will have to serve a year of supervised release and pay $1m (£740,000) in restitution.

Hankerson is the sole owner of the restaurant business, which has locations in Atlanta, Georgia and Washington.

He was required to withhold payroll taxes from his employees’ gross pay but between 2012 and 2016, Hankerson failed to remit more than $1m (£740,000) in taxes.

Earlier this year, Hankerson pled guilty to the charges.

Kurt R Erskine, acting US attorney, commented: “Hankerson willfully disregarded his tax obligations for many years. 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.”

The Inland Revenue Service 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.”

Gladys Knight performs onstage during the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on 9 October, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Knight previously won a legal battle to sever ties with the business and the court ordered Hankerson to stop using her name and likeness.

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