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That's what the government is saying after a Department of Homeland Security report shows that a New Orleans ACORN affiliate was improperly awarded nearly half a million dollars by FEMA in 2007. The money was awarded based on lies and ACORN programs that didn't exist, and was doled out against the advice of an evaluation panel.
In the findings, obtained by FoxNews.com, the inspector general's office said that FEMA went against the advice of an evaluation panel to hand out the $450,484 grant to the ACORN Institute in New Orleans. From there, not all of the money could be tracked.
"We concluded that the ACORN Institute should not have received these funds, did not fully implement and evaluate the program as approved and could not substantiate all its grant expenditures," the report said.
The report said that ACORN applied for the fire safety and prevention grant -- meant to fund efforts to distribute and promote the use of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers - by claiming to operate programs that did not yet exist. The institute claimed to have partnerships with local fire departments through the "Urban Fire Initiative," when in fact, that initiative "did not exist prior to the grant application."
FEMA reduced the grant request from its original $1 million. But the report said the institute could not provide documentation to support how it spent nearly $161,000 of the money it did receive.
ACORN filed for bankruptcy in November, after Congress voted to cut its funding in light of voter fraud accusations.
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