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The post-Fenty fortunes of anti-violence group Peaceoholics continue to decline. They’re under investigation by Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, and now, with funds they used to get from the District dried up, they’re in more than $28,000 of credit card debt, according to court records.
BB&T Financial filed a lawsuit in December alleging that Peaceoholics owed the bank on $28,160.56 on a BB&T corporate credit card in the group’s name. A judge ruled on April 6 that the organization has to pay the money, plus 21.99 percent interest between November 24 and April 26, and $1,408 in attorney’s fees—$31,842 in total.
BB&T is also looking for payment from Peaceoholics co-founders Ron Moten and Jauhar Abraham, who signed on as guarantors of the credit card when Peaceoholics applied for it in April 2009, accepting responsibility for debts if the organization wouldn’t pay them off.
On the day it won the ruling against Peaceoholics, BB&T asked for a judgment against Moten for the money. Abraham was dropped from the suit after a process server couldn’t find him.
Moten referred City Desk’s questions to Abraham, Peaceoholics’ CEO. After saying he wouldn’t say anything about the debt before he talked to a City Paper editor because he has “always been suspicious of City Paper,” Abraham starts talking anyway. “We owe them money, and we have to pay them,” Abraham says. He blames the group’s financial situation on Alexander’s investigation, and contracts the group has lost in the Vince Gray administration. He also says Peaceoholics knew about the BB&T debt, and intended to pay, saying the bank didn’t have to sue.
The Peaceoholics’ ability to stop gang violence has shrunk along with its bank account, Abraham says. Moten made a similar warning in February.
“We don’t have the capacity that we had a year ago,” Abraham says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery