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'Gross mismanagement': DC Attorney to freeze LGBT nonprofit's assets after executive allegedly flees with cash

Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Corado, an immigrant from El Salvador, is the formerly gay and now transgender-identifying man behind Casa Ruby—a leftwing nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that purportedly aims “to create success life stories among Transgender, Gender Queer, and Gender Non-conforming Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people.” Corado and the organization have been embroiled in an ongoing scandal concerning misallocation and misappropriation of funds for weeks, but now D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine is taking action.

On August 1, Racine announced that his office is going "to address Casa Ruby’s failures in their critical mission to help LGBTQ+ youth.”

After filing a restraining order with the aim of freezing all of the organization's financial accounts, Racine noted that Trump-critic Corado "appears" to have fled the country, after having “withdrawn tens of thousands of nonprofit funds.” According to Racine, Corado has also failed to “pay employees and vendors money they are rightfully owed.”

Corado's taxpayer-subsidized piggy bank

Corado, executive director of the nonprofit, is said to have used funds taken from the organization's M&T Bank accounts for personal purposes. Corado allegedly used $60,000 of the organization's money to pay off his personal credit card bills, and used additional funds to purchase food and pay for travel to and from El Salvador.

In the motion filed by Racine, the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) "authorized the use of $500,000 in Casa Ruby's funds to establish youth housing in El Salvador," but "no Board minutes or any other documentation indicate the Board approved this expense." Furthermore, the organization's stated charitable purpose would not have supported the use of these funds.

Casa Ruby also presently faces legal action from three of its landlords who claim to be owed more than $1 million in back rent. Several employees have been left in lurch as well, noting they haven't been paid since May 2022.

WUSA9 reports that since 2016, the nonprofit has received over $9.6 million in District grants, intended for the use of helping “the District Latino and LGBTQ+ youth communities.” It received $1.7 million in grants from the D.C. DHS in 2021 alone. The Washington Post has indicated federal tax filings show that by 2020, "Casa Ruby was bringing in nearly $4.2 million a year in revenue."

The Advocate reported earlier this month that Corado sold a home in Prince George's County for $775,000 and that various employees "hadn't heard from Corado since May." Twitter user Taylor Lianne Chandler linked to a video on Instagram that suggests that Corado has in fact fled back to El Salvador.

Trend of betrayal

The anger and hurt now being voiced online about this alleged corruption appears to echo that resulting from the discovery of BLM's "murky finances." In late 2021 and in early 2022, BLM was caught in a comparable scandal, albeit of a far greater magnitude.

According to an impact statement issued in 2020, a year in which the organization failed to file taxes, BLM boasted “an approximate balance of $60 million.” Two years later, in May 2022, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation released the first account of its finances since incorporating in 2017, which revealed that over $12 million had been spent on luxury properties in a single year.

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors was found to have transferred “millions from the organization to a charity run by her wife, Janaya Khan, to purchase the property," and ended up with a $3.2 million property portfolio. Cullors also paid her baby daddy "almost five times more than [BLM] gave to the Trayvon Martin Foundation."

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