I ask again: Hello, GOP? Hello? Earth to GOP. Do something about this. Taxpayers continue to fund ACORN and its corrupt ways. We’re subsidizing their voter fraud, lining the pockets of their left-wing leaders, helping them profit off of the mortgage counseling racket, and now…funding them while they covered up massive embezzlement.
Two prominent national nonprofit groups are reeling from public disclosures that large sums of money were misappropriated in unrelated incidents by an employee and a former employee.
The groups, Acorn, one of the country’s largest community organizing groups, and the Points of Light Institute, which works to encourage civic activism and volunteering, have dealt with the problems in very different ways.
Acorn chose to treat the embezzlement of nearly $1 million eight years ago as an internal matter and did not even notify its board. After Points of Light noticed financial irregularities in early June, it took less than a month for management to alert federal prosecutors, although group officials say they have no clear idea yet what the financial impact may be.
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.
Dale Rathke remained on Acorn’s payroll until a month ago, when disclosure of his theft by foundations and other donors forced the organization to dismiss him.
“We thought it best at the time to protect the organization, as well as to get the funds back into the organization, to deal with it in-house,” said Maude Hurd, president of Acorn. “It was a judgment call at the time, and looking back, people can agree or disagree with it, but we did what we thought was right.”
The Consumer Rights League has renewed its call for Congress (and specifically, Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank) to initiate an investigation into ACORN’s troubling pattern of taxpayer-abusing behavior. See also this backgrounder on the expansive list of ACORN’s illegal activities: its commingling of government funds for political purposes, its rampant voter registration fraud, and now the latest embezzlement scandal.