City Paper is not for tourists
Some stories are published long before the drama ends. When I wrapped up my piece on Hammer Communications last June, I knew it would be one of those tales. All I could offer was one long chapter of this epic narrative—-thankfully, this section provided plenty of twists: Happy “hours” all night along at Georgetown’s Papa Razzi or the nearby Ritz-Carlton on the company dime; An enigmatic owner, Jack Shoptaw, who acted like everything was okay, even as waves of employees were fired; The sudden closure of the company; The sudden creation of a new boutique firm operated again by Shoptaw; Lawsuits…lots and lots of lawsuits.
And that’s roughly where we left off in early summer. But now, the Washington Business Journal has an update on Hammer: On Nov. 12, ” a group of Hammer’s creditors filed a Nov. 12 petition to liquidate Hammer Communications through an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. The petition is pending,” according to the Washington Business Journal.
Funny thing though—-one of the creditors is Nick Holdings Inc, which is run by Mark Morris, a former business partner of Shoptaw’s and one defendant in another Shoptaw-related case. An earlier petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed against this group in May. In this case, “each of the defendants…had personally guaranteed the loans and pledged pieces of their real estate as collateral, according to the federal lawsuit,” according to the Business Journal.
Oh, and in other Hammer-related lawsuit news, the landlord for Shoptaw’s new office space sued him back in September for unpaid rent. An unnamed source says everything is settled and paid up now—-though unnamed sources connected to Shoptaw do not strike me as the most trustworthy people in the world.