Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issued a subpoena today in an ACORN investigation that has grown from a suspected $1 million embezzlement to a possible $5 million embezzlement.The new subpoena again eyes the Rathkes. See video with Rathke and Megyn Kelly below.
Wade Rathke, a co-founder of ACORN, helped cover up a "loan" to his brother Dale of almost $1 million. After an investigation, the "loan" was renamed "embezzled monies." The Rathke family repaid the money - or Dale repaid the money. It is not clear whose pocket the repayment came from.
The funds from ACORN to Dale Rathke was carried on the books as a "loan," and never reported to the ACORN Board. Citizens Consulting, Inc., who kept the books for ACORN, was actually just...Wade and Dale Rathke.
The previous investigation prompted new subpoenas today, specifically regarding a $5 million embezzlement.
An internal review by the board of directors of the community organization ACORN determined that the amount allegedly embezzled from the community organization was $5 million, well more than the previously reported amount of nearly $1 million, according to a new subpoena in an investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.From today's subpoena:
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 Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million," the new subpoena says.
With ACORN, nothing is straight forward. This from nola.com:
ACORN Chief Executive Officer Bertha Lewis said the new accusation about the embezzlement is "completely false." She said she would comment further after she and ACORN attorneys have a chance to review the subpoena.So, Ms. Lewis has quite a conundrum to work her way through. In 2008 she reported to the ACORN Board that $5 million has been embezzled, but today she says the accusation by subpoena is "completely false."
Wade Rathke kept his brother's continuously on-going "loan" from the family business, ACORN, a secret:
He [Wade]...defended his secrecy saying the group worried the news would be "weaponized" to hurt ACORN.
"Any misstep within the organization might become a threat to its very survival," he said. "That's what's happening now."
This same report also says that the $1 million repayment of funds came from Dale Rathke and a "donor."
Dale Rathke was fired. Wade is currently "chief organizer" for ACORN International, but after the "loan" scandal, he stepped down from his position as ACORN "chief organizer." LOL.
ACORN was founded in New Orleans, the subpoenas were issued by Caldwell in New Orleans, the New Orleans headquarters building is up for sale, and the organization's headquarters are relocating to Washington, D.C. The following video is Megyn Kelly's interview with Wade Rathke (a 'special' currently running on FOX News Channel). Kelly says this is the first and only "in-depth" interview Rathke has granted.
Michelle Malkin has more.