Register hundreds of different shell corporations to hide behind

How ACORN Hides Behind Fake Names

By Warner Todd Huston
Friday, October 9, 2009

Many states have ways to look up the businesses, organizations and people with whom the state does business. Illinois has such a service on the Secretary of State’s website.

In Illinois there is a way to search the folks the state does business with on a page titled Corporate/LLC Search / Certificate of Good Standing. There you can input the name of a corporation or LLC and find out the address of its offices, its registered manager’s name, etc.

Sadly, this feature is not easy to use. The problem is you have to know the actual name of the corporation you are looking for. Of course, if you don’t really know what you are looking for you just cannot find anything useful.

The problem with the Illinois search system is that groups like ACORN register hundreds of different shell corporations to hide behind. They register them to their workers and their directors and then they offer them to government as a vendor or organization for the state’s use. Naturally, state funds flow like water into ACORN’s coffers as a result.

Other states have easier ways to search their state records. In the state of Louisiana, for instance, one can search by a person’s name. On the Louisiana site you are not limited to the name of the corporation like you are in Illinois so it is a bit easier to find vendors and corporations that are approved to work with the state. (Louisiana mainpage, or go to the search only page)

On the Louisiana site I typed in the name of ACORN founder Wade Rathke to see what corporations and LLCs he had registered with the state. I also tried Dale Rathke, his embezzler brother, to see what he had registered with the state. The results are amazing.

What I found were dozens of different shell corporations registered to Wade and Dale Rathke all of which have the potential of reaping thousands of dollars from the state of Louisiana. The same thing is happening in every state of the union and it isn’t just Wade and Dale doing this. ACORN employees at all levels are doing this in order to hide the fact that they are registering ACORN agencies.

Louisiana List (all registered to New Orleans):