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City wins $108,000 judgment against Liz Rogers, owner of defunct restaurant Mahogany's

City claims unpaid loan and taxes
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Posted at 2:53 PM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 15:32:08-04

CINCINNATI – The City of Cincinnati has won another in a series of judgments against Liz Rogers for loans, rent and other debts she has not paid from the failure of her restaurant, Mahogany's at The Banks.

In a default judgment last month, Judge Charles Kubicki Jr. ordered Rogers and her husband Trent to pay the city $108,763.57 plus interest and costs. Last May, the city sued them for unpaid loans and taxes.

The city has been trying to collect from Rogers for years after giving her $684,000 in startup financing as well as a $300,000 loan to open a soul food restaurant in 2012. After she quickly stopped making loan payments and rent, the city agreed in early 2014 not to force the issue and give her time to catch up on the rent with The Banks' landlord, NIC Riverbanks One LLC.

But Rogers failed to keep up payments and NIC evicted the restaurant in September, 2014.

Rogers then asked the city to forgive her loan and threatened to sue. Last year, City Manager Harry Black agreed to reduce her debt to $100,000, saying it was necessary if the city wanted to recoup any of its loss.

Rogers agreed to pay back $800 each month until 2026 but only made one payment, according to the city’s lawsuit. The restaurant also owes the city more than $11,000 in taxes and fees, the suit said.

In his entry, Kubicki wrote that Rogers was served a complaint and summons on June 20 but she did not respond.

The city filed its lawsuit May 10, the day after the state won a $22,000 judgment against the restaurant over sales tax.

Rogers has been in trouble with the law in at least two other cases. In March 2011, a judge issued an arrest warrant for her after ruling she owed a design company $3,000 for work it did for another Rogers business. She turned herself in a year later.

In November 2015, Rogers was found guilty of impersonating a police officer when a repo man tried to take her car.