Swinging Richards files for bankruptcy with $1.6 million in debts

READ MORE | Owner says Swinging Richards ‘will be here for years’

Swinging Richards has filed for bankruptcy protection and a Go Fund Me account has been created to raise $1 million to cover the gay strip club’s legal fees.

The parent company of the club, 1400 Northside Drive Inc., filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia on May 2. The bankruptcy filing allows the business to remain open while it reorganizes its finances.

Swinging Richards owes more than $1.65 million to its creditors, according to the bankruptcy filing first reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Most of the creditors are former dancers who sued the club over unpaid wages and their attorneys. The club also owes unknown amounts to state and federal tax agencies, according to the filing. 

The debt includes six claims totaling $875,000 owed to five former dancers, according to the bankruptcy filing. That judgment came after Swinging Richards lost a jury trial in May 2018.

Mitchell Benjamin, the attorney for the five dancers, said he expects his clients will be paid. 

“This is not the kind of bankruptcy where they’re going to liquidate,” he told Project Q Atlanta. “This is a company that is earning money.”

The largest unsecured claim the company owes is $667,000 to former dancers under a Fair Labor Standards Act settlement, according to the bankruptcy filing. More than two-dozen dancers sued Swinging Richards in 2014, arguing that the club violated federal law by not paying them minimum wage and charging them various fees to perform. They settled the case in March 2017. 

Swinging Richards has $50,000 to $100,000 in estimated assets, and its liabilities are between $1 million and $10 million, according to the bankruptcy filing. 

A Go Fund Me campaign was created on April 29 to cover the club’s ongoing legal fees. 

“Help us keep Swinging Richards swinging proudly,” the campaign said. “A recent court decision and overly aggressive lawyers looking for profit, have caused us to reach out to the community for help. Don't let them shut us down!”

Some $80 has been raised as of Tuesday, with a goal of $1 million.

Project Q reached out to Swinging Richards owner C.B. Jones for comment and we will update the post if he responds.

Photo via Google Maps