The attorney general of New York is asking the court to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), citing the gun group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.”
They concluded this after their 18-month long investigation, said an NPR report.
Attorney General, Letitia James, claimed in a lawsuit filed on Thursday that she found financial misconduct in millions of dollars.
The suit alleged top NRA executives misused charitable funds for personal gain.
This led the NRA to experience a loss of more than $64 million over the course of three years.
It added that the NRA also awarded contracts to friends and family members, and provided contracts to former employees to ensure loyalty.
The Defendants And Accusations
Among the accused in the lawsuit were:
- CEO, Wayne LaPierre
- Former CFO, Woody Phillips
- Former chief of staff, Joshua Powell
- General counsel, John Frazer
The suit said LaPierre was using charitable funds for personal gain.
This includes a post-employment contract valued at more than $17 million that was not approved by the NRA’s board of directors.
The lawsuit also claimed that LaPierre received more than $1.2 million in expense reimbursements over four years.
The appellant said this includes gifts for friends, travel expenses, and memberships at golf clubs and hotels.
The suit accused him of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on private plane trips.
The trips were: for extended family when he was not present and a trip to Africa with his wife on a safari gifted by an NRA vendor.
He has also spent more than $3.6 million on luxury black car services and travel consultants in the past two years.
The petitioner added that those who attempted to blow the whistle on this behavior received some form of retaliation from LaPierre.
Meanwhile, James’ lawsuit alleged Phillips of lying on financial disclosure forms and setting up numerous deals to enrich himself.
She added that these deals also enriched his girlfriend.
Philips manages the financial operations of the charitable organization.
Whereas, Powell’s salary tripled a lot more than two years into his tenure, which began in 2016.
While he began at $250,000, Powell’s salary rose to $800,000.
The report added that seeking to dissolve the NRA is the most aggressive sanction James could have sought against the not-for-profit organization.
James has jurisdiction over the NRA since it is registered in New York.
He also has a wide range of authorities relating to nonprofits in the state.
This includes the authority to force organizations to cease operations or dissolve.
In a statement, the NRA said that the legal action was political.
Adding that it’s a “baseless premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend… we not only will not shrink from this fight – we will confront it and prevail.”