ALBANY, Ga. —Lajuana Woods, the business owner and former board member of the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority whose business dealings with former downtown manager Don Buie led to the repayment of thousands in facade grant funds, has been charged with deposit account fraud by the city of Albany.
Woods, who was booked into the Dougherty County Jail and released June 20 on a $7,000 bond, is charged with defrauding the city of more than $4,600 through the issuance of a bad check to the city treasurer’s office. The charge is a felony.
City Finance Director Kris Newton said Wednesday that the check Woods allegedly wrote in January 2013 for $4,600, was meant to pay for her 2013 business license and delinquent excise taxes for alcohol for the period of April-December 2012.
To date, Newton said, Woods has not paid excise taxes on alcohol for 2013.
In 2009, Woods brokered a deal with the District Attorney’s office to resign and repay $50,000 in facade grants issued by Buie without board approval.
Additionally, the city moved earlier this year to foreclose on her restaurant, L’Jua’s on Radium Springs Road. Woods filed for bankruptcy protection. Ultimately, the court sided with the city and handed over the property given that more than $200,000 in startup loans had gone unpaid.
The city is now trying to offload the property to satisfy the debt, City Manager James Taylor told The Albany Herald in a February interview.
“We have no desire to be in the restaurant business,” Taylor said. “Had we not bought Capitol City’s interest in the property, they would’ve foreclosed and we would’ve lost any money that had been paid out. So we plan to offload it and get whatever we can out of it to satisfy the note.”