Embattled community organizing group ACORN has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the group reported Tuesday.
The move marks the end of a tumultuous two years for ACORN, and its CEO acknowledges the nonprofit's loss of congressional funding, legal and publicity battles, and federal probes as contributing factors to the group's restructuring.
"We have seen this coming for some time," ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis writes in a statement posted on the group's website. "Our [more than 1200] chapters closed in the first quarter of the year. We have spent our remaining resources trying to dissolve the organization with integrity, while continuing to respond to the extremist attacks."
ACORN, short for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was founded in the 1970s but ascended to the national spotlight in 2008 when allegations of widespread voter fraud surfaced. The group blamed right-wing attacks for its negative press, which sparked investigations into whether the organization violated its nonprofit status by electioneering and engaged in voter registration fraud in at least 10 states.
Lewis's statement claims her group "fought the good fight" for low-income families, but it was ACORN's "highly effective strategies" that caught the media's attention and led to the group's financial and structural downfall. "The barrage of unmitigated accusations certainly took its toll," the statement reads.
"The ongoing political onslaught caused irreparable harm," it continues.
A series of undercover videos produced by conservative filmmakers Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe in 2009 showed ACORN counselors providing the couple-who purported to be a prostitute and pimp-with advice on how to qualify for housing grants to open a brothel. The infamous videos brought ACORN back into headlines nearly a year after the 2008 elections, and though the organization contested the videos' authenticity, the organization announced in March 2010 it would cease operations.
"The pressure and cost of defending ourselves in multiple investigations as a result of the falsified videos has eroded our organization. As a result we will be filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy by close of business today."
Fox News's Eric Shawn has more on ACORN's political battles and future.