Esperanza Unida’s Missing Funds


A recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Esperanza Unida in foreclosure proceedings” detailed some of the financial difficulties that resulted in foreclosure proceedings by the City of Milwaukee from outstanding property taxes and additionally purporting unpaid utility bills, in particular with WE Energies, and unpaid federal taxes.

However, what the article overlooked, intentionally or unintentionally, is another major factor in this organization’s fiscal woes, and that is a number of hefty, unaccounted loans that were approved and signed by its former Executive Director, Richard Oulahan, for a variety of building improvements that never came to fruition.

It has recently been discovered that two Real Estate Mortgage loan documents totaling $600,000 for Esperanza Unida, Inc. have materialized. The funds from these two loans have been in controversy because the money from these loans has been, and still is, unaccounted for. The two mortgage loans were made out to Esperanza Unida, Inc. from then M&I Marshall & Illsley Bank. Each mortgage loan was for $300,000.

Though these mortgages are from the 1990’s, Esperanza Unida is still making payments on these mysterious loans and it has been noted that there may be more unaccounted loans to be discovered. The financial obligation in continuing to make payments for these mortgages is a significant factor in the organizations financial difficulties.

According to HSE Home Comfort, these loans were intended to complete building improvements like repairing roofs, replacing fire systems and sprinklers, and remodeling HVAC units to their headquarters located at 611 W. National Avenue and 1329 W. National Avenue both located in Milwaukee. Those improvements and repairs werenever made.

It has been reported that several Esperanza Unida board members, some of which who were on the board when the loans were secured, appeared shocked upon presentation of the mortgage loan documents at a recent board meeting.

Former Esperanza Unida Chief Financial Officer Hugo Alacron was contacted and has stated that he has no recollection of these loans let alone the improvements or repairs.

The question that still remains unanswered is, where did the $600,000 go?

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