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Troubles continue for former TruOrleans owner James “Tru” Redding. The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue announced today that it has seized Redding’s strip joint/steakhouse Stadium Club in order to pay the more than $100,000 in sales and use taxes he owes for his now-closed H Street NE restaurant.
The tax office shut down TruOrleans in September, but the restaurant was plagued by a litany of other financial and legal troubles: The landlord was fighting for eviction, neighbors were protesting the liquor license renewal, and multiple vendors had filed lawsuits for unpaid bills.
Redding has had his own personal financial and legal woes, too. Redding’s company James T. Redding, Inc., for which he was the sole shareholder, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland in July. The bankruptcy filings revealed his company owed more than 100 creditors between $1 million and $10 million. Redding also faces fraud charges in Nevada after allegedly writing bad checks at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Redding didn’t immediately return a call to his cell phone.
UPDATE, 5:18 p.m.: Stadium Club investor Keith Forney says the club was in the process of being sold to a group of out-of-town investors, although the deal hadn’t been finalized before the District seized the club.
“They weren’t a D.C. bunch,” Forney says of the new investors. “Maybe they didn’t understand the need for speed or whatever.”
Forney, last in the news giving thousands of dollars in gifts to Councilmember Marion Barry in the strip club’s parking lot, declined to name the new investor group or clarify whether he’s still involved in it.
Forney will say, though, that Redding would not have been a member of the new ownership group. “Hopefully it’ll be a more positive thing now that Mr. Redding has moved on to something else,” he says.
UPDATE, 5:27 p.m.: Landlord Darryl Pounds says TruOrleans’ eviction proceedings continue. At a hearing yesterday, Redding’s lawyer asked for a continuance, Pounds says, and a new hearing date is scheduled for Dec. 11. “They just keep kicking the ball down the street,” Pounds says.
Additional reporting by Will Sommer
Photo by Darrow Montgomery