The controversial community-organizing group ACORN has fired two employees at its Baltimore office who were filmed on hidden-camera video giving advice on operating a child-sex ring to a man posing as a pimp and a woman pretending to be a prostitute, according to Fox News.
While there is some debate over whether the employees technically violated the law, experts say there is ample evidence of possible federal tax fraud by offering advice -- for a fee – on establishing a child brothel, legal experts say.
In the video made public Thursday, two visitors to an ACORN office in Baltimore told staffers they needed assistance securing housing where the woman, a 20-year-old who called herself "Kenya," could continue to run her prostitution business.
An ACORN official told the couple how to falsify tax forms and seek illegal benefits for 13 "very young" girls from El Salvador that they said they wanted to import as prostitutes.
Though no tax forms were filed and the child prostitutes didn't exist, the ACORN official engaged in "numerous acts of criminal facilitation," said Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News senior judicial analyst.
Not all legal experts agree. Trial attorney Lee Armstrong told Fox that the employee had engaged in "repulsive ... disgusting behavior," but nothing illegal occurred because the entire scenario was a sham.
"For aiding and abetting tax evasion, for aiding and abetting child prostitution ... you need the actual crime," said Armstrong, an attorney for Jones Day in New York. "That's what's missing here."
Armstrong said that the videotape appeared to show the ACORN official hatching a conspiracy, but no violation occurred because the 25-year-old filmmaker was only "pretending" to be a 25-year-old pimp.
"You need an actual agreement between two people to commit a crime. If one person is just faking it, you don't have a meeting of the minds, you don't have a conspiracy," Armstrong told Fox News. "How do you clap with one hand?"