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$548K In Tax Liens Filed Against ACORN

From The Pelican Institute for Public Policy (a pdf file):


State Attorney General Gears Up Probe as Payroll Tax Troubles Mount

By Steve Beatty The Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Tax problems continue to build for the New Orleans-based national activist group ACORN, with the IRS filing a $548,000 lien this month for two years worth of unpaid payroll taxes, according to records in the Orleans Parish Clerk of Court’s office

The latest federal tax filing lists seven different payments that were missed for unemployment taxes from July 2007 through March of this year. That adds to an existing IRS bill of more than $1 million, which The Pelican Institute detailed in an August report.  

The latest federal filing, recorded Sept. 3, comes as Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell investigates delinquent state payroll taxes from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and its myriad related groups. Caldwell is also investigating other allegations against the group

In the Louisiana tax case, court records show the state Department of Revenue filed two liens in January. The first, for $306,702, was against Citizens Consulting Inc., the bookkeeping arm of ACORN. It describes delinquent employee withholding taxes from late 2002 through mid 2008.

The second lien was against ACORN itself for $26,026, again for unpaid withholding taxes. Both state liens appear to be cancelled, according to a citation in the Clerk of Court’s computer.

State revenue officials will not discuss individual taxpayer cases, so they could not confirm that the issue is clear. A spokeswoman for Caldwell said investigators are still awaiting information from subpoenas and couldn’t yet address the status of the liens. 

“We have a full scale investigation into ACORN and all of its subsidiaries,” Caldwell said through a statement released by spokeswoman Tammi Arender. “No stone will be left unturned. We’re still looking into their recent activities.” 

ACORN officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.  

The subpoenas from Caldwell, served last month, became widely known this week. They were served on the former chief of ACORN, Wade Rathke, who now runs the offshoot Acorn International, as well as Whitney Bank, where ACORN keeps its accounts.  

The subpoenas seek a broad range of information since 1998 from ACORN and what the documents say are 361 related tax-exempt and non-tax-exempt organizations

•  All W-2 tax income reports and 1099 tax filings issued
•  A list of every employee
•  All state and federal tax returns
•  Organizational charts for every affiliate
•  All audited financial statements
•  Documents related to the theft of nearly $1 million by Rathke’s brother, Dale Rathke, who worked in the organization. 

Only last year did most of the 51-member governing board of ACORN learn of nearly $1 million in inappropriate charges to an ACORN credit account by Dale Rathke.

Rather than report the incident to authorities, Wade Rathke worked with a small group of ACORN leaders to arrange for a repayment schedule by his brother. After more than $200,000 was repaid, an outside donor stepped in and repaid the balance

Caldwell’s office is seeking information on the alleged embezzlement, but the statute of limitations may prevent him from taking any action.  

The subpoenas seeking tax information refer to 57 tax liens against the groups since 2008, but the AG’s office only considered one of the group’s two New Orleans offices. The Pelican Institute found at least 75 filings in that period at the two addresses ACORN frequently lists

ACORN and their fellow travelers are such fertile ground.

If only we had some investigative reporters who would do some real journalism.

(Thanks to CGardner for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, September 19th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “$548K In Tax Liens Filed Against ACORN”

  1. cookiemaker54 says:

    Hmmmmmmm, as I recall it was the IRS that finally brought Al Capone to trial, also. Wouldn’t that be sweet irony.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      TurboTax Timmy wasn’t running the show then!

      Man I tell you something…….if this gets swept under the carpet there will be a backlash of pissed off citizenry this nation has never seen before!

      Barry will have to jump on AF1 for good reason, too!

      Just watch ………….

  2. caligirl9 says:

    I find it interesting that the state liens were cancelled. By whom? So those funds were never paid and are not considered due at all?

    Unpaid payroll taxes are no laughing matter. Unless you have a protector in the White House. How will TOTUS distance himself from this mess?

  3. Right of the People says:

    I think I see ACORN being run over by the wheels of the bus after the Won throws them there. They’re just going to have to take one for the team.

  4. Rusty Shackleford says:

    A poorly written, read-between-the-lines accusatory piece by the AP:

    Did ACORN get too big for its own good?


    By SHARON THEIMER and PETE YOST, Associated Press Writers Sharon Theimer And Pete Yost, Associated Press Writers – Sat Sep 19, 10:29 am ET

    WASHINGTON – Activist group ACORN started in 1970 to help the poor in Arkansas and quickly went national, growing into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate with a mission so far-flung that schools now bear its name, two radio stations are affiliates and a man it backed is the president. Oh yeah, it’s also the unwilling star of a hot Internet video featuring a couple dressed as a hooker and her pimp.

    And that last bit is just one of its problems.

    The organization praised for its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and treated by federal, state and local governments as a valuable public resource has had nearly $1 million embezzled by its founder’s brother. The openly Democratic-leaning group has seen its employees accused of voter registration fraud, and taking it down has become a cause celebre for Republican lawmakers, activists and pundits.

    As if volunteers allegedly signing up cartoon character Mickey Mouse to vote didn’t give ACORN enough bad publicity,

    —–(In fact, there was none by the MSM. It was, however, pointed out by Steve Gilbert.)

    the public is enthralled with new videos appearing on the Internet and TV news shows showing ACORN employees in Brooklyn, N.Y., advising a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp to lie to get housing aid, and employees in other cities counseling the pair on tax, banking and immigration issues.

    Many Democrats used to advertise their ACORN connections. Now, however, the Democratic-led Senate has voted to cut off its grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Democrat-dominated House doesn’t want it to get any federal money, period.

    ——Classic “cut & run.

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called the conduct in the videos “completely unacceptable” and a prominent ally of President Barack Obama, John Podesta, is on an ACORN advisory panel working to clean up the mess.

    —–“ACORN Czar” perhaps?

    Republicans are using ACORN to portray Democrats as corrupt and distract Obama from his policy agenda, the same way Democrats used issues involving Halliburton, the giant government contractor and ex-employer of former Vice President Dick Cheney, against the GOP during the Bush years. Top Republicans from congressional leaders to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger want criminal probes of ACORN and conservative voters are pressuring news organizations for coverage.

    —–Didn’t know that Ahhhhhhnold was a “top republican”. Top RINO, perhaps.

    —–And further down, they contradict themselves:

    —–First they say:

    ACORN’s annual budget is $25 million, Kettenring said. Of that, about 10 percent is federal money and a much smaller share comes from state and local governments, he said. The budget covers ACORN’s national office, its state and local chapters and the ACORN Institute, Kettenring said.

    —–And later it’s:

    HUD said this past week that it has given ACORN roughly $42 million since the 2000 budget year. A July report by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said ACORN had received more than $53 million in federal money since 1994.

    HUD….Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Federal Agency) Chairman appointed by POTUS

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      So, doing some 8th grade math. Annual budget= 25 million. 10% of 25 = 2.5 million.
      HUD funds to ACORN over 9 years = 42 million. 42 divided by 9 = 4.67 million per year vs. the 2.5 million 10 percent budget crapola.

      So right from the start the lies begin.

  5. proreason says:

    Taxes? Taxes?

    We ain’t payin not stinking taxes?

    We won.

  6. pagar says:

    “from ACORN and what the documents say are 361 related tax-exempt and non-tax-exempt organizations:” Sounds like there could be a complete accounting stimulus program just trying to find out where the money goes in ACORN and their related organizations. My guess is that a lot of the money goes to a bunch of people who do absolutely nothing, just like we see with the unions.

    Here is info from UnionFacts.com showing asset decline in SEIU while actual membership increased. Any guesses where that money went?

    2005 | 2006
    Finances and Membership
    National Association of Government Employees SEIU (NAGE)
    National Headquarters

    2001 2002 2003 2004 2006
    Total Assets $13,307,553 $10,708,436 $7,533,892 $4,332,630 $4,843,004
    Receipts $18,591,838 $2,930,745 $16,950,022 $19,530,583 $21,962,907
    Disbursements $16,244,507 $4,623,440 $18,349,639 $21,821,082 $22,714,228
    Members 38,025 38,025 37,959 46,000 42,000


  7. “If only we had some investigative reporters who would do some real journalism.”

    Yes. I bet a network news magazine that expertly tells a tick, tick ticking story or three in, oh, say , sixty minutes, would be a real ratings bonanza to which ever cutting edge network produces it.

    If only there was such a network….

  8. Liberals Demise says:

    This is a crime scene and before any cameras are allowed in for filming Barrys DNA will be scrubbed clean. The Boy Blunder can’t and won’t be caught wearing any ACORN lipstick on his collar after the dance.

    NOPE ………… ACORN must now dangle in the wind alone and hopefully die on the vine quickly before the Fox News Network finds ‘B.O.’ cuff links behind ACORNs’ bedroom dresser.

  9. Rusty Shackleford says:

    There is a fundamental difference between the ways liberals and conservatives set up and do business. Liberals, having watched the way conservatives operate, think they know how it’s done. By believing in perceived injustices and wrongdoing/favoritism on the part of conservatives, the liberals go into bidniss for themselves and somehow manage to get money from various sources.

    Over time, the liberals, in an effort to accomplish “social justice” find themselves spending, spending and spending into a growing abyss. Additionally, inside members of their operation see “all this money going to waste” and decide to get some before it’s all gone under the “logic” that “it’s just gonna go to waste”.

    Before too long, the whole system starts to break down as they try to cover up from their own managers, cronies, inside con-men, etc. that money is being lost/stolen/misappropriated, what-have-you.

    Then, “da man” come ‘roun here lookin fo’ dat money.

    Then it’s aw-sh** time and they are in real trouble.

    It’s like a bunch of kids who think they can fool everybody because, well, they’re just so much smarter than everybody else; Not realizing that there’s nothing new under the sun and it’s all been tried before.

    I ran into this thinking in the USAF with slick little youngsters who thought they had it all figured out. At best, their little schemes weren’t even up to Ralph Kramden-level of sophistication. They would end up in jail, bitter and angry at “the man” for busting up their ingenious scheme.

    HATECORN, as has been said, was probably doomed to failure no matter what. You can’t take in that kind of money, with those kinds of people and expect it all to go “as planned”. And, no matter what iteration it evolves into, it will still end up the same. Internal thievery, unethical/illegal operation due to inadequate or biased oversight, etc. There is no honor amongst thieves, really.

    But, the altruistic “social-justice” department will keep funneling money that way and then stare in amazement as it, yet again, evaporates to parts unknown and somebody’s fleet of SUV’s.

    The mind boggles. But they will, as has already been said, reconstruct a “new” iteration of HATECORN, calling it something else, with, most likely THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE running it and it, too, will self-destruct.

    I am reminded of “Jurassic Park” where the professor is trying to convince Jeff Goldbloom to come on along on a new embarkation of the theme park and he says, “We’re not going to make the same mistakes”, and Jeff responds, “No, this time you’re making all new ones.”

    But that’s what you get.

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