[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.