Purported “cult leader” Lyndon LaRouche was convicted for felony fraud, which involved bilking his supporters out of $30 million dollars. He served five years in prison.

Now the former inmate and perpetual presidential candidate will receive $840,000 from public funds reports ABC News.

Yes, the United States government has sent Mr. LaRouche more than three-quarters of a million dollars and it’s likely there will be more money soon for the octogenarian.

Of course the money given to LaRouche actually originates from American taxpayers that check that little box on their income tax return and donate $3 to the federal election fund.

LaRouche is running as a Democrat, even though that political party has publicly denounced him reports the Daily Press.

He is registered as a candidate in Virginia, even though the convicted felon can’t vote in that state.

His devoted followers see him more like a messiah than a candidate and relentlessly fund raise for their leader. Such fund raising then provides the basis for federal matching funds.

The “LaRouchies” have raised $5 million so far for their leader’s supposed 2004 White House bid.

Has LaRouche turned running for political office into a profitable political “cult”?

Lyndon LaRouche has received more public matching funds than Congressman Dennis Kucinich. And more than candidates Al Shaprton and Carol Moseley Braun combined.

Not bad for the man many see as a “kook” from the radical fringe.

But is this just another scam for the convicted fraudster?

It seems this time Mr. LaRouche has found a legal way to grab money from taxpayers that may not even know and/or support him.

The NY Post ran a series of investigative pieces by Jeanne MacIntosh exposing the activities of a purported “cult” leader named Fred Newman and his acolyte Leonora Fulani, through various organizations they appear to largely control. This list of non-profit tax-exempt charities includes the Castillo Theater, the East Side Institute for Short Term Psychotherapy, and the heavily funded “All Stars,” a program supposedly designed to help kids. All Stars is supported by a virtual “Who’s Who” of corporate NY.

Newman, a self-described “neo-Marxist” and “revolutionary,” was once associated with perennial presidential aspirant Lyndon LaRouche. In 1992 LaRouche campaigned from a federal prison, where he was serving time for fraud and tax evasion. But now Fred runs his own shop, apparently largely fueled by the “All Stars,” which seemingly has become his cash cow. The money milked from “All Stars” appears to travel to other Newman entities.

Now after the NY Post’s revelations, Elliot Spitzer, NY Attorney General, is probing the interrelationships amongst Newman’s various charitable concerns.

Fred Newman, a failed philosophy professor who was fired from seven colleges, later created what he calls “Social Therapy.” According to Newman, who is not a psychologist, this therapy helps people to “overthrow” and “wither” what he labels their “proletarian ego.” However, former participants seem to think it is “brainwashing.”

Newman teaches that his therapy should include social activism. The net result of that activism appears to be working for Fred for free. This might include fund raising for one of his charities like All Stars, or perhaps petition drives for the Indendence Party.

Millions of dollars flow through the coffers of Newman related entities.

Some critics say that Newman has effectively co-opted or taken over the Independence Party of New York. It is within this area that perhaps the most controversial aspects of Fred Newman’s interrelationships become even more interesting. He has questionable ties to both Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg. Both have benefited through Independence Party endorsements and/or petition drives. Some say there is a kind of quid-pro-quo between Newman and these politicians. That is, they are now paying him back through arranging support for his endeavors, specifically through All Stars.

The Newman dominated Independence Party also endorsed Elliott Spitzer, but the Attorney General seems devoid of any meaningful connections to either Fred Newman or his interests. Hopefully, Spitzer’s probe will soon produce meaningful results, rahter than lead to a dead end.