[StBernard] Louisiana Expands ACORN Probe, Targets Files

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Oct 9 18:44:46 EDT 2009

Louisiana Expands ACORN Probe, Targets Files
Attorney General Subpoenas Bank Records

The Office of Louisiana's Attorney General is expanding its investigation
into the nonprofit group ACORN, WDSU reported Thursday.

Officials have issued a new subpoena for financial files belonging to as
many as 300 different companies or limited liability corporations with ties
to the organization.

The subpoena seeks records held by Whitney Bank and demands they be turned
over by Nov. 7.

"This particular one has to do with additional financial records of ACORN,
Citizens Corporation and any other umbrella agencies," said Assistant
Attorney General David Caldwell. "Our goal is to get to what the course of
the funds are and to track down the money."

Caldwell described the scope of the subpoena as "massive" -- conceding it
could take some time for the bank to produce those records.

In the past month, both Louisiana and Mississippi have cut off funding to
ACORN. The U.S. Census Bureau has also decided it will no longer work with
the community action group.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, who is David Caldwell's
father, claimed a former ACORN worker embezzled $5 million while working for
the group. The new amount is more than a previously reported sum of $1

It's unclear if the money was taken from state, federal or private funds.

ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis called the new charge "completely false."

ACORN last year dealt with accusations that former accountant Dale Rathke
made nearly $1 million in improper credit card charges in 1999 and 2000.
Rathke's brother, former ACORN International President Wade Rathke, and a
donor repaid the money.

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