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Issa Demands ACORN Fraud Probe Over OWS
Posted By Matthew Vadum On November 8, 2011 @ 12:25 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 30 Comments
The House of Representatives’ top investigator has asked a federal prosecutor to look into fraudulent fundraising practices that ACORN’s New York front group allegedly used to raise money for Occupy Wall Street.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants to know if New York Communities for Change (NYCC) “engaged in fraud through its participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests.” (Front Page Magazine reported a month ago that NYCC was raising money for Occupy Wall Street.)
In a letter Monday Issa asked Brooklyn-based U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to initiate an investigation into claims that NYCC may have “solicited donations from union members under false pretenses and misappropriated those funds to support the protesters.”
NYCC staffers reportedly collected money door-to-door for the group’s campaign to test schools for dangerous toxins and then commingled those funds with cash raised for a teachers union and to support Occupy Wall Street. One NYCC source was quoted saying money raised to help schools “isn’t going to the campaign … it’s just going to the protests, and that’s just so terrible.”
To cover up the funding funny business, NYCC executive director Jon Kest has reportedly threatened and fired employees, destroyed documentary evidence, ordered staffers not to speak to the media, and ordered the installation of surveillance cameras and recording devices at NYCC headquarters in Brooklyn.
NYCC is also reportedly destroying items that reference ACORN in an effort to cover up NYCC’s intimate working relationship with the ACORN network. Kest is a longtime ACORN operative. So is his brother Steve who was executive director for the national ACORN organization.
Staten Island congressman Michael G. Grimm (R-N.Y.) supports Issa’s call for a probe.
“It is no surprise to hear that an ACORN-affiliated group may be connected to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Their track record of fraud and links to deceitful activity demand that these allegations be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Grimm said.
The Occupy Wall Street protests, which have spread to dozens of other large U.S. cities, are part of what ACORN’s neo-communist founder Wade Rathke calls an “anti-banking jihad.” As previously reported, the Working Families Party, another ACORN front group, is participating in the protests by raising money and paying for rent-a-mobs in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.
Outside New York City, other ACORN front groups across America are involved in occupations. Some of the participating groups are Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE); Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ) (New Mexico); Action United (Pennsylvania); Organize Now (Florida), Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change; New England United for Justice (Massachusetts); and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).
ACORN, which used to employ President Obama, has a long, inglorious history of fraud that I document in my new book Subversion Inc: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers. At least 54 employees and individuals associated with ACORN have been convicted of voter fraud and ACORN itself was convicted of a type of voter fraud in Nevada earlier this year. The Obama administration has ignored a nearly $1 million embezzlement within ACORN and multiple apparent counts of pension fraud.
The administration also ignored the videos shot at ACORN offices across America by activists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles who caught ACORN workers advising how to break the law without getting caught.
The uproar that followed the release of the videos led to a 2009 congressional ban on funding ACORN which the Obama administration is now ignoring. After a brief interlude the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) resumed issuing grants earlier this year to ACORN Housing, which now goes by the name Affordable Housing Centers of America.
Chances are U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, an Obama appointee, won’t accommodate Issa’s demand for an investigation of NYCC.
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