Tags: ACORN | justice | audit | funds | misused

Justice Audit Alleges ACORN Spin-Off in New York Misused Money

Thursday, 01 Dec 2011 12:53 PM

By Margaret Menge

The Justice Department alleges that a spin-off of the now-defunct liberal activist group ACORN misappropriated money from a federal grant.

The New York Agency for Community Affairs received grant money to train student leaders and educate them about current issues and the government but used it instead to agitate for more local funding for after-school programs, according to an audit from the Office of the Inspector General.

“This report confirms that ACORN and its rebranded affiliates have used fiscal sponsorship in an illegal and abusive manner to launder taxpayer funds into its own coffers,” Daniel Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, told Fox News.

The New York Agency for Community Affairs was founded in 2005 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a start-up grant ACORN obtained.

“ACORN is like an octopus. They set their tentacles out with these different 501 (c) 3s to receive funding from the government. These companies serve no other function than to fund ACORN with grant money,” Epstein said.
ACORN disbanded in 2010 amid scandal and financial woes. But the New York chapter is still active, having rebranded itself as New York Communities for Change, which recently was accused of paying workers and homeless people to take part in the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Those allegations prompted House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to call for an investigation into the group.

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