ACORN embezzlement was $5 million, La. attorney general says

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Acorn | Tags: , , , , , , |

By Robert Travis Scott

Louisiana’s attorney general has broadened the scope of an investigation of ACORN to include a possible embezzlement of $5 million a decade ago within the community organization, five times more than previously reported.

ACORN Chief Executive Officer Bertha Lewis said the new reported amount is “completely false.”

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has been conducting an investigation of ACORN since June. He issued subpoenas in August seeking documents related to former ACORN International President Wade Rathke and his brother Dale Rathke, who kept the group’s books. Those subpoenas were focused on possible ACORN violations for non-payment of employee withholding taxes, obstructing justice and violating the Employee Retirement Security Act. No charges have been made.

The attorney general had inquired in June into an alleged embezzlement within ACORN that happened 10 years ago. The group last year dealt with an internal dispute and a lawsuit involving accusations that Dale Rathke made nearly $1 million in improper credit card charges in 1999 and 2000. The brother and a donor repaid the money.

Caldwell said last month that the statute of limitations presented obstacles to prosecutors taking action on the embezzlement, and that his investigation was not focused on that issue. The subpoena issued Monday changed the tone of the investigation and put a new emphasis on the embezzlement issue.

“Current high-ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million, ” the new subpoena says.

Read more at NOLA.COM

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ACORN Plans Massive Layoffs!

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: Acorn | Tags: , , , , |

by Matthew Vadum

A credible source claims the embattled left-wing advocacy group ACORN is poised to announce massive staff layoffs but an ACORN spokesman denies this is the case.

A credible source close to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now revealed that the activist network intends to lay off all staff members operating out of its New Orleans headquarters. All information provided by the source to this reporter in the past has turned out to be correct.

However, ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson of the public relations firm The Advance Group in New York City said the source was incorrect.

In an interview Friday afternoon with Levenson said (referring to BigGovernment.com), “You guys just can’t get it right. You’re wrong again.”

When pressed to elaborate, Levenson declined to do so.

Levenson received media attention earlier this year when Fox News host Glenn Beck ejected the combative publicist from his studio during a commercial break. Beck said at the time that Levenson accused him of being a racist.

My source said that one of the employees to be cashiered in the Crescent City is the daughter of disgraced ACORN founder Wade Rathke. Rathke’s wife, Beth Butler, also works for ACORN but it is unclear at this point if she too will be laid off. Rathke’s son also reportedly is employed by ACORN.

ACORN also plans to lay off two-thirds of its Washington, D.C., staffers as soon as Wednesday of next week, according to the source. Layoffs will also extend to ACORN’s affiliate the ACORN Institute.

The source also revealed that all or most of ACORN’s development staff in the group’s New York City office will soon be laid off if they haven’ been laid off already.

Read more at BigGovernment.com

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