Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes, Exploitation of Victims, and Corruption of SNAP

Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes, Exploitation of Victims, and Corruption of SNAP

w/ EXCLUSIVE Court Docs

[A scam/shakedown/kickback-scheme for anti-Catholic ambulance-chasers]


Exposed in the courts: SNAP president Barbara Blaine (l) and SNAP director David Clohessy (r)

A callous disregard for victims. Financial kickbacks from Church-suing tort lawyers. Retaliation.

A stunning new civil lawsuit filed in Illinois by a former insider at SNAP confirms what many of us have known all along: SNAP is not an organization designed to help victims of clergy sex abuse but a gang hellbent on shaking down the Catholic Church through a seedy web of lawyer kickback schemes, lawsuits, and bigotry.

Dennis Coday at the National Catholic Reporter was the first to report the news of this stunning lawsuit.

[**Click to read the actual must-see lawsuit filed against SNAP (pdf)**]

Gretchen Hammond was hired by SNAP in 2010 as director of development to oversee the group’s fundraising operations and to boost cash inflow to the group. Ms. Hammond did so with great success, but the more she learned about the inner workings of SNAP, the more she came to learn that SNAP was not simply an innocent “victim advocacy group.” Hammond began “collecting documents in preparation of exposing SNAP’s acceptance of kickbacks from attorneys.”

And as the lawsuit asserts, when Ms. Hammond confronted SNAP president Barbara Blaine about her concerns about SNAP’s dealings with attorneys, “the atmosphere changed at SNAP for [Hammond],” “SNAP began taking retaliatory actions against [Hammond],” and the group soon fired her. Indeed, the lawsuit is a must-read. Among the eye-openers in the suit:

“SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping victims – it exploits them.”

“SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks in the form of donations. In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers victims as potential clients to attorneys, who then file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim against the Church.”

“SNAP is a commercial operation motivated by its directors’ and officers’ personal animus against the Catholic Church.”

“SNAP’s commercial operation is premised upon farming out abuse victims as clients for attorneys.”

“SNAP callously disregards the real interests of victims, using them instead as props and tools as furtherance of their commercial fundraising goals.”

“SNAP would even ignore survivors that reached out to SNAP in search of assistance and counseling.”

“81.5% of SNAP’s 2007 donations were donations by attorneys.”

Indeed, regarding SNAP’s slippery dealings with attorneys, the lawsuit highlights a November 2012 email in which, according to the lawsuit, SNAP National Director David Clohessy “provided information regarding a survivor to the attorney for the purposes of filing a lawsuit on behalf of the survivor … [and then] asked the attorney when SNAP could expect a donation.” Of course.

The email that says it all

For many years, we at have asserted that SNAP’s activities have had almost nothing to do with the protection of children and everything to do with bludgeoning the Catholic Church for what it stands for.

Well, Hammond’s lawsuit showcases an actual email message composed by Clohessy that clearly proves our claim once again. In a 2011 email exchange, Clohessy wrote:

“i sure hope you DO pursue the WI [Wisconsin] bankruptcy … Every nickle (sic) they don’t have is a nickle (sic) that they can’t spend on defense lawyers, PR staff, gay-bashing, women-hating, contraceptive-battling, etc.”

This lawsuit is the single largest revelation in the Catholic Church sex abuse story in years …

We also wish Ms. Hammond all the best with her courageous lawsuit.

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One comment on “Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes, Exploitation of Victims, and Corruption of SNAP


    Catholic League

    Bill Donohue comments on the resignation of David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):

    Just days after SNAP was sued by a former employee for accepting kickbacks from Church-suing attorneys, its leader, David Clohessy, quit.

    He said he “voluntarily resigned” last month, but that is an incomplete, if not dishonest, account. Had it not been for a string of lawsuits and bad publicity, he would have stayed for years. He will now be remembered for running when the going got tough, leaving behind a shell of an organization that is broken both morally and financially.

    Clohessy is a man who spent a good part of his adult life attacking the Catholic Church and lying about it. He worked with unseemly lawyers, manipulated the media, lied to reporters, and exploited the very people he claimed to help.

    The latest lawsuit against Clohessy underscores what I have written about for years: SNAP is riddled with corruption. I will have much more to say about the latest lawsuit in coming days, showing how the accusations made by Gretchen Rachel Hammond are consistent with what I have said. It’s all coming together. SNAP is on its last legs.

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