Neighbor Who Tried to Shut Down Boy’s Lemonade Stand Gets a Healthy Dose of Karma

  • Credits: by Jason DeWitt | Top Right News

    A Florida man who has battled to shut down a 13-year old’s lemonade stand has received a major dose of bureaucratic karma.

    Young T.J. Guerrero gained international attention because of his neighbor Doug Wilkey’s remarkable, 2-year effort to shut down the 13-year-old boy’s venture. People have gone out of their way to purchase his lemonade. T.J. has even been given donations, treated to a limo ride and featured in news reports from New York to Europe.

    He also has given back by donating some of the money to a local animal shelter. 

    The neighbor, Doug Wilkey, meanwhile has garnered a reputation as mean spirited for bizarrely demanding that the city shut down T.J.’s “illegal business” to “restore peace and quiet” and “avoid the dangerous potential of spoiled goods poisoning the public.”

    Karma is a — well, you know.

    Wilkey is now under investigation by the city for — of all things — running a business out of his home without a license.

    A tipster contacted the city and pointed officials toward records that show Wilkey, as recently as March, listed his Patricia Avenue home as the principal business address for Bayport Financial Services.

    Planning director Greg Rice said officials were drafting a letter notifying Wilkey, 61, that all companies operating in the city require a business tax license, which costs about $45 a year, and that home-based-business owners must sign an affidavit agreeing to follow special rules.

    “The irony is (Wilkey’s) not following the rules either, or doesn’t seem to be,” Rice said.

    He could face daily fines of $250 if he does not comply with the ordinance.

    Meanwhile, T.J. was across town presenting $200 to the Humane Society of Pinellas, where his family years ago adopted a pit bull mix.

    T.J. pairs his lemonade earnings with lawn-mowing cash to pay for things like his cellphone bill and dinners with his mother.

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