Archive for the ‘embezzlement’ Category

ACORN Cesspool: Obama Calls For Independent Prosecutor Amid Fraud, Embezzlement, Death Threats, Vandalism, and hatred

October 18, 2008

The furor over ACORN‘s national voter registration drive exploded with new controversies Friday, including a call by Barack Obama for an independent prosecutor, a Supreme Court ruling over voter access and the disclosure of a death threat against an ACORN worker.

By Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers

What remains unclear is whether the campaigns of Obama and John McCain will reach a truce over voter access to the polls by Election Day or whether their legal and rhetorical battles will persist to the finish line — or beyond.

Republicans allege that the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now is engaged in rampant voter fraud, but they’ve offered no proof of such a systematic effort. The GOP does have evidence that some of the group’s 13,000 canvassers submitted fraudulent applications, but ACORN says it alerted authorities to most of the phony forms.

Democrats counter that the GOP is trying to whip up fears of voter fraud so it can knock students and low-income minorities off the voter rolls to enhance McCain’s chances of victory.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled an attempt by Republicans to challenge the validity of 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio , saying that the party lacked the standing to sue.

The Republicans had sued to force Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner , a Democrat, to provide county election officials with lists of registrants whose personal information did not exactly match Social Security or driver’s license data, a step that would leave those voters vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

Tensions began to escalate Thursday with disclosures that the FBI is investigating ACORN and the possibility that it’s engaged in a vote-fraud scheme.

On Friday, Obama’s legal counsel, Robert Bauer , wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey , charging that the inquiry is politically motivated and that it risks repeating the 2007 scandal over the Bush administration‘s politicization of the Justice Department.

Related:
ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20081017
/pl_mcclatchy/3075612_1

ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle

October 17, 2008

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS – ACORN, the national activist group dogged by a high-profile voter registration fraud scandal, has another bruising item on its agenda when its board of directors meets here this weekend.

Leaders of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now are locked in a legal dispute stemming from allegations that the brother of the group’s founder misappropriated nearly $1 million of the nonprofit’s money several years ago.

The embezzlement case, a recent revelation to some board members, has spawned a lawsuit and set off a power struggle inside ACORN at a time when the liberal group’s voter registration practices are the subject of fraud investigations and fodder for presidential campaign attacks.

Bertha Lewis, ACORN’s interim chief organizer, called the lawsuit “a distraction from us marshaling our forces to deal with the Republican right-wing attacks” over ACORN’s voter registration.

The lawsuit filed in August by two board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.

Instead of reporting the allegations to law enforcement authorities, a small group of ACORN executives allowed the Rathke family to repay the misappropriated money, according to the lawsuit brought by board members Karen Inman and Marcel Reid.

Wade Rathke is seen in a Tuesday Feb. 26, 2002 file photo, in ... 
Wade Rathke is seen in a Tuesday Feb. 26, 2002 file photo, in New Orleans. A lawsuit filed in August by two ACORN board members accuses ACORN founder and former chief organizer Wade Rathke of either concealing or failing to properly report that his brother Dale embezzled around $948,000 from New Orleans-based ACORN and affiliated charitable organizations in 1999 and 2000.(AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

Inman and Reid said the agreement, which called for the stolen money to be carried on the books of an ACORN affiliate as a loan to an officer, was kept a secret from the full 51-member board until earlier this year.

“We need to find out what happened, when it happened and make sure that ACORN is viable,” Inman said during a press briefing about the dispute Thursday in New Orleans. Inman also says she wants an independent audit of ACORN’s books.

Rathke, who founded ACORN in 1970, defended the decision to keep his brother’s actions an “internal matter” and resolve it with “private restitution.” Reporting the case to law enforcement could have left the group at risk of financial ruin, Rathke said.

“One choice would have been to go that way, but then we wouldn’t have been able to collect that money,” he said.

No working phone number for Dale Rathke could be found and a request by The Associated Press to contact him through his brother wasn’t immediately answered.

Lewis said the group’s board recently hired attorneys to explore whether Dale Rathke’s actions warrant a criminal investigation or could be the subject of a civil case.

“Remember, we just found this out in June,” she said.

Rathke said he took responsibility for his brother’s “mistakes” by resigning, while Inman says he was fired. Rathke blames a “small group of dissidents” for the turmoil that has followed his departure.

“I wish they would have kept the internal affairs of the organization internally,” he said.

Inman and Reid filed suit for access to ACORN financial records that staff members allegedly refused to give them.

During their meeting this weekend, board members are expected to discuss the lawsuit and explore ways to resolve it. A state judge presiding over the case has asked for a transcript of the board’s discussion.

Lewis said Inman and Reid don’t speak for the entire board and didn’t have authority to file suit on the board’s behalf.

“As you can well imagine, any organization that just fired its founder after 38 years would have internal issues,” she said.

Wade Rathke says he stepped down as ACORN’s chief organizer in June, but remains chief organizer for ACORN International. A spokesman for ACORN said the two organizations are separate entities, although they have shared office space in New Orleans.

Rathke shrugged off the board members’ lawsuit, calling it a “minor matter,” and expressed confidence that the voting registration controversy won’t consume the group.

“ACORN is a big organization now, and they’re big enough to weather this,” he said.


Above: Just a reminder: the FBI is investigating ACORN…..

Related:
ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081017/ap_on_re_us/acorn_missing_money_1