Claim: ACORN theft was five times previously thought

ACORN was embroiled in scandal last year when it was revealed that Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from an ACORN affiliate years earlier. According to news reports, a handful of ACORN officials covered up the embezzlement, keeping the information even from some of the group's directors, in order to prevent an episode embarrassing to the group's left-wing mission.

But Louisiana's Attorney General is now alleging a theft of ACORNĀ funds five times as great. A new subpoena, granted on Friday by Louisiana's 19th Judicial District, asserts that ACORN insiders have known for nearly a year that $5 million was embezzled, based on their own internal investigation.

Steve Beatty of the Pelican Institute in New Orleans provides the documentation once again. In seeking the subpoena, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell made this assertion:

Current high ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on October 17, 2008 by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION), and it is still unclear if some of the monies embezzled are from state, federal or private funds.

The subpoena seeks a large number of tax documents form ACORN, mostly related to the alleged misuse of money that the group should have paid in payroll taxes.

Lewis, ACORN's chief organizer, is speaking this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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