On Aug. 6, 2020, New York Attorney General Letitia James took steps to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA). According to reports, this decision comes after an 18-month investigation. During the investigation, authorities found evidence that the gun-rights group “fraught with fraud and abuse.”
NRA to Be Dissolved by NYAG
AG James claims she discovered the NRA had millions of dollars — a tune of over $64 million — that had not been properly accounted for over three years. According to the documents James filed, the top NRA executives used funds from their charities for personal gain.
James alleges these executives also awarded contracts — unfairly — to family and friends. The document also alludes that they provided former employees contracts; to ensure their loyalty. Seeking to dissolve the NRA is an extremely aggressive sanction — A right she has over the group because it is registered in New York.
How Does the NRA Feel About the NYAG Trying to Dissolve it?
It is almost certain that the NRA will refute this act in court. The NRA released a statement claiming the act was purely political. They believe that James is trying to start a “baseless premeditated attack,” against them.
The group states they will stand up for what they believe in — “the Second Amendment freedoms.” James believes that the group’s influences have been “so powerful;” they have been able to get away with a lot of things.
James wants the NRA, and the Nation, that no one is “above the law.” The lawsuit not only name’s the group as a whole; it also lists four former and current NRA executives:
- Former chief of Staff Joshua Powell.
- General Counsel John Fraizer.
- As well as Executive Vice President/CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Other Reasons the NYAG is Trying to Dissolve the NRA
The attorney general claims the executive committed fraud by spending money meant for the charities on
- Expensive meals.
- Private jets.
In the claim, James calls for LaPierre and others to pay restitution. James would also like the court to order that the four may never join a board of charity in New York ever again.
The allegations against LaPierre are: Spending $17 million on a non sanctioned, post-employment contract; Receiving $1.2 million in reimbursement for over four years. Including but not limited to travel expenses, golf memberships, hotels, and gifts for friends.
It has also been reported that LaPierre spent more than $3.6 million, in the past two years, on luxurious black car services and travel advisors. An NRA vendor gifted the CEO with a safari trip in Africa — LaPierre brought his wife with him.
Allegedly the CEO would retaliate against anyone who raised against him.
The lawsuit claims that Phillip lied on financial documents, as well as arranged profits from himself and his girlfriend. James also claims that Phillips arranged a contract — $1.8 million — just before his retirement. A contract that the incoming treasurer — the supposed person whom Phillips worked for — knew nothing about.
Furthermore on Accusations Against NRA Executives
The former chief of staff is believed to have more than tripled his salary in just over two years. According to James, Powell’s tenure began in 2016, at which time he was making $250,000. That number rose to $800,000 by the end.
The charges against Powell also include spending $5 million on a contract with the McKenna & Associates firm. In turn, the firm hired Powell’s wife, giving her a $30,000 monthly consulting fee. A fee which includes the NRA.
Frazer has been accused of failing to follow whistleblower laws; failing to comply with board guidance procedures; As well as certifying false or misguided annual statements made by the NRA.
What Else Does the NRA Face?
This is not the only downfall the NRA faces. In the District of Columbia, Attorney General Karl A. Racine also filed court documents against the NRA. Only this time it was the NRA Foundation that was the target.
Racine issuing the NRA Foundation claiming they had violated local laws. Laws which prohibit the group from placing their own interest ahead of the charities. In April 2020, LaPierre was secretly recorded during an NRA board meeting.
In the recording, LaPierre tells the audience that the group was roughly $100 million in the whole. This is the rough estimate for 2018 to 2019. It seems as though the NRA is facing severe financial issues.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NPR: New York Attorney General Moves To Dissolve The NRA After Fraud Investigation
CNN: New York attorney general files lawsuit to dissolve the National Rifle Association
Fox: New York AG seeks to dissolve NRA in new lawsuit
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