Federal bureaucrats still handing tax dollars to ACORN 

Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation last year banning federal grants and contracts to ACORN or any of its affiliates. Somebody should tell the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) about the ban.

Judicial Watch, the anti-corruption non-profit watchdog, said its investigation found a small grant - just over
$78,000 - from HUD to the Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) to "educate the public and housing providers about their rights and obligations under federal, state, and local fair housing laws." The grant was awarded March 1, 2011.

Snagging federal grants and contracts to "educate" lenders was a core ACORN funding tool for decades and one of the major contributing factors in the housing bubble that caused the Great Recession of 2008.

AHCOA is an ACORN-linked offshoot of the group that is the focus of multiple state voter registration fraud investigations and which gained national notoriety in 2009 when its employees in Baltimore, New York and other cities across the country were videotaped giving advice to a faux prostitute and her "pimp" on tax avoidance, managing brothels, and foiling immigration enforcement to bring in under-age girls as sex slaves.

The relationship between AHCOA and ACORN has been the focus of some controversy in recent months, as Judicial Watch explained in a news release describing its investigation:

"Although the Government Accountability Office issued a controversial advisory opinion in September 2010 stating that ACHOA is a separate entity from ACORN and is therefore not subject to the funding ban, the government's website listing federal expenditures identifies the organization receiving the $79,819 grant as 'ACORN Housing Corporation Inc,' and lists ACORN's New Orleans, Louisiana, address. Moreover ACHOA maintains the same board of directors, executive director and offices as its predecessor, ACORN Housing Corporation, Inc.

"Federal investigators have documented fraudulent activity on the part of ACORN Housing/ACHOA. For example, according to a September 21, 2010, HUD inspector general report, which notes that ACORN Housing is 'now operating as Affordable Housing Centers of America,' the organization misappropriated funds from a $3,252,399 federal grant.

"The inspector general concluded that ACORN Housing/ACHOA had charged salary expenses to the HUD grant that 'were not fully supported.' The organization also continued to pay its counselors even after they were terminated, did not meet federal procurement standards and allegedly destroyed documents to conceal the fraudulent activity."

In other words, like fly-by-night oriental rug merchants, dishonest home repairmen and shady used car dealers, ACORN is simply doing business under different names in order to get around the federal funding ban and keep the tax dollars rolling in to finance its illicit voter registration drives and other forms of political graft and corruption.

For more from Judicial Watch on ACORN/AHCOA, go here.


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Mark Tapscott

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