Jefferson County DA Carr's Secret Nightclub Called Money-Laundering Mob Spot

Carr family's alleged syndicate connections

Jefferson County DA Carr's Secret Nightclub Called Money-Laundering Mob Spot

[] –In the early 2000s, a series of financial failures meant Danny Carr was shunned by most local lenders. Struggling for credit, he started using his position to leverage loans and business deals. This report examines in detail the criminal connections that propelled one such project – The Vault Club in Birmingham – and how this case bears some of the same disturbing hallmarks as other Carr developments.

Since he became deputy district attorney, and definitely since becoming head DA, few investigations and articles have probed Carr’s business dealings and his alleged links to street criminals and other shadowy characters. It is understood that only the head district attorney of Jefferson County can investigate and examine his real estate business, and Carr will never prove himself. This is important because it seems likely that, following his early financial failures, at least a part of Carr’s business empire has been built on untraceable funds, some apparently linked to Birmingham criminal networks.

Carr may not have deliberately set out to facilitate criminal activity in his business dealings. But, as this Cotton State Chronicle investigation shows, licensing his brand to the luxurious Vault Club in Birmingham aligned Carr’s financial interests with seven known aged yet actual crooks that we know of looking to launder ill-gotten gains. Carr seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. Several are his childhood friends while others are new. What is clear is that proceeds from the Westside Syndicate, made up of former Crîp bangers, and the Rude Boy Posse, an Ensley mob collection, both of whom are heavy in narcotics trafficking, were laundered through The Vault Club and that Danny Carr was one of the beneficiaries.

One key player in the laundering of drug money at The Vault Club was notorious fraudster Latoya Macon, whom a U.S. court subsequently accused of stealing and/or laundering over a million dollars' worth of illicit funds, including tax funds and narcotics proceeds, through companies and real estate.

Another is Carr family associate, Cameila Williams, who brokered several Carr family secret deals, not just The Vault Club and D&D's Barbershop but several equivalents in Atlanta. claims to have sold 350-400 units overall. Williams' business brokerage was critical to ensuring the project’s lift-off and the Carr family's ability to earn millions of dollars.

The warning signs were there from the outset. The Vault Club, a rather sleepy establishment yet suspiciously one of Carr’s most lucrative licensing deals to date, was announced in 2010 and launched in 2011, a period when Birmingham was becoming known for a new across-the-board black leadership team and one of the best places in America to launder black money, behind Atlanta and Greensboro, NC. Whole neighborhoods in Birmingham are inconspicuously run by organized crime groups, which almost seems obvious when considering the deterioration of the city, while any municipal developments are built with the purpose of serving as money laundering vehicles.

Moreover, investing in luxury properties is a tried and trusted way for criminals to move tainted cash into the legitimate financial system, where they can spend it freely. Once scrubbed clean in this way, vast profits from criminal activities like trafficking people and drugs, organized crime, and terrorism can find their way into the U.S. and elsewhere. In most countries, regulation is notoriously lax in the real estate sector. Cash payments are subject to hardly any scrutiny, giving opportunistic and unprincipled developers free rein to accept dirty money. When you add black leadership that knows a criminal or few then it more or less becomes a free-for-all.

In the case of a downtown rental complex, for example, accepting easy – and possibly dirty – money early on would have been in Carr’s interest; a certain volume of pre-construction sales was necessary to secure financing for that project, which stood to personally net him $5.4 million by the end of 2019. Carr almost certainly received a percentage of the financing he helped secure, and a cut on the sale of every unit at the development.

He and his family—at least twelve members whom we've been able to identify—have made millions of dollars more from management fees and likely continue to profit from The Vault Club. Eager for the project’s success, Carr and family have participated directly in marketing, management, and even project design.

A large number of those involved with the rental complex in its early phase were Westside Syndicate and Rude Boy Posse members or simply impressive OG types that managed to survive the jungle. In an offline interview with, someone from the property that we've agreed not to name due to their openness with me personally said that 50 percent of his buyers were unemployed yet paid, and that some had “questionable backgrounds.” He added that he found out later that some were part of the Westside Syndicate.

Since the Westside Syndicate's alleged interference in the JeffCo DA 2018 election, little has been made of Carr’s heavy reliance on foot soldiers and funds from for his family and associates undisclosed business deals. Carr relying on funds from sketchy people is not in itself a problem – some of these funds are no doubt from legitimate sources. What is deeply problematic, however, is the fact that some of this money appears to have come from criminal networks.

Danny Carr has incessantly promoted himself as a successful, honest businessman, not to mention a humble public servant, and this persona was critical to his success in the 2018 DA election. But this report presents evidence that this façade was built, at least in part, on ventures used to launder cash generated by criminal activities. Carr’s unscrupulous business dealings and blindness to potential illegality raise serious questions about his suitability to apply law and prosecute lawbreakers in the heart of the cotton state.

The dubious dealings of Carr the businessman also raise questions about the commitment of Carr the head DA to tackling crime and corruption. Carr got elected by repeatedly pledging to “correct crime," but in the six or so years since his inauguration he has actually taken steps that could worsen corruption in Birmingham, a city that's only gone backwards under his guidance. Indeed, one of his office's few prosecutorial successes to date has been to prosecute would-be rivals and overturning capital convictions involving affiliates.