WASHINGTON – A report released today by Rep. Darrell Issa, the Ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, presents evidence that ACORN has evaded taxes, obstructed justice, engaged in racketeering, and created a conspiracy to defraud the United States.
“This report is a comprehensive and substantive examination of an organization that has operated in secrecy and outside the law,” said Issa, R-Calif., who is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “There are number of legitimate questions raised about the political activities and organizational structure of ACORN. This report is about getting to the truth and when there are significant accusations and questions outstanding regarding an organization that has benefited from millions of taxpayer dollars, those questions should be answered and the truth should be brought to light.”
“The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has repeatedly and deliberately engaged in systemic fraud,” according to the report’s executive summary. “Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate. Emerging accounts of widespread deceit and corruption raise the need for a criminal investigation of ACORN.”
The report includes significant new information about wrongdoing brought to the attention of committee investigators by ACORN whistleblowers. Highlighted in the report:
— ACORN has evaded taxes, obstructed justice, engaged in self dealing, and aided and abetted a cover-up of the $948.607.50 embezzlement by Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke.
— ACORN has committed investment fraud, deprived the public of its right to honest services, and engaged in a racketeering enterprise affecting interstate commerce.
— ACORN has committed a conspiracy to defraud the United States by using taxpayer funds for partisan political activities.
— ACORN has submitted false filings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor, in addition to violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
— ACORN falsified and concealed facts concerning an illegal transaction between related parties in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
“It is outrageous that ACORN will be rewarded for its criminal acts by taxpayer money in the stimulus and is being asked to help with the U.S. census,” Issa said. “This report shines a light on clear criminal conduct and it is abundantly clear that they cannot and should not be trusted with taxpayer dollars.”