Patterico's Pontifications

9/17/2009

Louisiana AG Investigates ACORN?

Filed under: Crime,Government — DRJ @ 11:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

BigGovernment.com has published one page of what it says are several subpoenas from the Louisiana Attorney General to Wade Rathke, President of ACORN INTERNATIONAL served last month. The posted subpoena concerns a Louisiana investigation of ACORN and Citizen’s Consulting, Inc, a company that provides bookkeeping and related services to ACORN. The subpoena seeks documents relating to unpaid taxes, tax liens, and other matters including “the theft of funds by Dale Rathke.”

Dale Rathke is the brother of ACORN President Wade Rathke and ACORN has been described as the Rathke family business. In 1999-2000, Dale Rathke reportedly embezzled almost $1M from ACORN and the Points of Light Institute. A whistleblower revealed the embezzlement in 2008 and it was reported in this New York Times article:

“A whistle-blower forced Acorn to disclose the embezzlement, which involved the brother of the organization’s founder, Wade Rathke.

The brother, Dale Rathke, embezzled nearly $1 million from Acorn and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000, Acorn officials said, but a small group of executives decided to keep the information from almost all of the group’s board members and not to alert law enforcement.
***
The amount Dale Rathke embezzled, $948,607.50, was carried as a loan on the books of Citizens Consulting Inc., which provides bookkeeping, accounting and other financial management services to Acorn and many of its affiliated entities.

Wade Rathke said the organization had signed a restitution agreement with his brother in which his family agreed to repay the amount embezzled in exchange for confidentiality.

Wade Rathke stepped down as Acorn’s chief organizer on June 2, the same day his brother left, but he remains chief organizer for Acorn International L.L.C.

He said the decision to keep the matter secret was not made to protect his brother but because word of the embezzlement would have put a “weapon” into the hands of enemies of Acorn, a liberal group that is a frequent target of conservatives who object to its often strident advocacy on behalf of low- and moderate-income families and workers.”

Interestingly, Wiki has no information on its Dale Rathke page but there is an entry for Wade Rathke, who it says lives in New Orleans, LA. Presumably the Louisiana investigation results in part from the fact ACORN’s records indicate it is headquartered in New Orleans and the Rathkes live there, although the status of the investigation is not clear.

Since the subpoena specifically mentions tax liens, this November 2008 Capital Research Center report seems on point:

“Ironically, ACORN and its affiliates, all reliable cheerleaders for higher taxes, are longtime tax deadbeats. A search of public records found more than 200 federal, state,
and local tax liens adding up to more than $3.7 million
that are associated with groups that share ACORN’s address on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans.
***
It is unclear what kinds of taxes ACORN and its affiliates failed to pay, but because almost all ACORN affiliates are exempted from paying most or all taxes, it seems likely
that the liens were issued for non-payment of employees’ payroll taxes. If so, this would be ironic because payroll taxes fund the social and wealth-distribution programs that
ACORN so staunchly supports.”

In addition, at least 20 states are reportedly investigating ACORN’s activities in the wake of the recent BigGovernment videos.

— DRJ

12 Responses to “Louisiana AG Investigates ACORN?”

  1. Years ago ACORN also caused much laughter when it argued it should be exempt from the minimum wage laws it was advocating, because at higher wages they wouldn’t be able to hire as many workers.

    sierra (dfb2fa)

  2. It is unclear what kinds of taxes ACORN and its affiliates failed to pay, but because almost all ACORN affiliates are exempted from paying most or all taxes,

    Could also be property taxes. While the group’s properties are most likely property tax exempt [b/c they are allegedly a not-for-profit “charitable / ecudational” organization] in most states, if other states’ property tax laws are similar to NY’s, they would still be liable for embellishment fees (i.e., paying extra for special street lighting in a district, snow plowing, things like that). Also, unpaid water bill are added to the tax bill and become part of any tax lien.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  3. Liberals are the same the world over. they agitate for higher taxes, lecture us about the evil of making $$, and tell us we have to help people – and they are routinely caught a) being greedy (i.e., corrupt embezzeler) and not paying their own taxes.

    Again, if Soros and the Kennedys want to help the poor so badly, why do they not give most of their wealth to charity? Same with all of the hollywood liberals.

    They are just like the Soviet leaders. Communism and sacrafice are good for the masses, just not for the “elite” betters telling us how we should live.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  4. Gee, I wonder when the IL AG will launch an investigation into ACORN as well, since they’re imploding as we speak. Oh, wait – both of my hack Senators refused to deny them funding.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  5. ZOMFG – You wingerz are not even trying to hide your hatred and fear of minorities any longer.

    JD (9019c8)

  6. It is high time to layeth the smackdown upon ACORN.

    Can you smmmmmeeeeeelllllllllll what is cooking?

    PCD (02f8c1)

  7. Ironically, ACORN and its affiliates, all reliable cheerleaders for higher taxes, are longtime tax deadbeats.

    What’s ironic about that? If you don’t pay taxes, then there’s no downside to advocating for higher taxes. And I’ve never met a liberal who paid taxes without complaining about it.

    So are we at RICO yet?

    tim maguire (4a98f0)

  8. Would anyone be surprised to know that Wade Rathke is the head of the SEIU union in New Orleans, as well as a member of the SDS (not sure if he was in Weathermen or not, my bet he was, my bet he has been a buddy of Ayers for nigh unto 40 years or more).

    This leads me to the big unanswered question:

    Joe McCarthy, where are you now that we need you?!?!

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  9. “Presumably the Louisiana investigation results in part from the fact ACORN’s records indicate it is headquartered in New Orleans”

    True, but that appears to be only Acorn International. The full named Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a a non-Louisiana corporation registered in Arkansas (Little Rock), though the Arkansas SoS shows it to be located in NOLA at the standard Acorn address.

    One of the other possible reasons for the investigation is that it is continuing to operate while not in good standing, i.e., for not having filed their annual report since 2007.

    Want a little chuckle. The Sec/Treas for Acorn International is listed as Mande Hurde of the same address as the President of ACORN, Maude Hurd. These yokels can’t even get the names of their top people right on their forms.

    Dusty (7bba43)

  10. “Ironically, ACORN and its affiliates, all reliable cheerleaders for higher taxes, are longtime tax deadbeats.”

    Hey, so were half of Obama’s cabinet nominees. Coincidence? I think not.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  11. Let us not count the chickens coming hoomt to roost quite yet. since the funds cutoff are in several different bills, they will go to conference to be combined. watch for a 3 a.m. return of funds to ACORN, or perhaps a new noble organization, such as….NROCA!!

    John Cunningham (1cb7c8)

  12. […] I posted earlier on the Louisiana investigation here. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » ACORN Embezzlement May Have Been $5 Million (e4ab32)


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