NRA Loses Corruption Case, LaPierre to Repay Millions

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  • BurkeM

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2014
    1,630
    Baltimore







    Manhattan, New York — The National Rifle Association failed to safeguard its donor’s funds while Wayne LaPierre diverted millions toward lavish personal expenses.
    That’s the finding a six-person jury handed down on Friday after a week of deliberations. They sided with New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) against the NRA and its leadership. In addition to the group and its former CEO Lapierre, the jury also ruled against former Treasurer Woody Phillips and General Counsel John Frazer.
    The six-member jury in the civil case found LaPierre did $5.4 million worth of harm to the NRA by using its charitable funds to pay for things like private jet travel. They determined he’d already paid back about a million dollars of that harm, but also that there was enough evidence to bar him from being the group’s CEO in the future.

    They found Phillips had violated his duty to work in good faith for the NRA, and that his briefly-lived post-employment contract was an unauthorized related-party transaction. However, they found it didn’t do any monetary harm to the organization. Similarly, the jurors found Frazer had violated his duty to the group and authorized “materially false” statements the NRA made on a government disclosure about related party transactions, but they also found his actions didn’t cause the group monetary harm and there wasn’t cause to remove him.
    The jury also found a series of payments made to board members or people related to NRA employees were not properly approved ahead of time, but all but two–hair and makeup for Wayne LaPierre’s wife and speaking fees for former NRA president David Keene–were properly approved after the fact. However, they also found the NRA did not have a proper whistle-blower policy for years and did nothing to prevent retaliation against eight whistle-blowers identified in the case.

    Judge Joel Cohen is now tasked with deciding what remedies are appropriate for the damages the jury has identified. What he decides will determine the future of the nation’s largest gun-rights group. In addition to barring LaPierre from working with the NRA or other non-profits, he could force the former CEO to pay the organization back for expenses the jury found were unlawful. But he could also appoint a monitor to oversee the NRA’s operations, which might completely transform the group’s leadership and internal operations.
    A significant overhaul of the most prominent gun group in America will have a substantial impact on gun politics throughout the nation, especially since it’s far from clear the group can recover.
    Of course, the corruption allegations and legal ordeal have already made a tremendous mark on the NRA. Since news of the illicit spending broke in 2018, the group has experienced an unprecedented exodus of members. Millions of people have abandoned the organization, with nobody quite sure how many remain. That’s led directly to a funding shortfall that has forced the group to slash spending on key programs, such as gun safety training and political campaigns, while pouring an unprecedented amount into controversial legal bills.
    The group has continued to see declines in fundraising and will likely only be a shadow of its former self in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

    LaPierre, who resigned in the middle of the trial, and the NRA have argued that downfall was AG James’s goal from the beginning. They noted she had promised to investigate the group during her campaign, which she said wasn’t a charity but a “terrorist organization.” Her initial complaint sought the total shutdown of the NRA.
    “The fact is, Letitia James set out to destroy the NRA, and the best way to do that was to destroy Wayne LaPierre,” P. Kent Correll, who represents the former CEO, said in closing arguments.
    However, Judge Cohen and an appellate court rejected the argument that the case was solely a political attack when the NRA sought to have it dismissed. However, Judge Cohen also removed dissolution as a potential remedy because he argued it would be detrimental to NRA members–the people James is tasked with protecting in the suit.
    “In short, the Complaint does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the ‘corporate death penalty,'” he wrote in his opinion. “Moreover, dissolving the NRA could impinge, at least indirectly, on the free speech and assembly rights of its millions of members.”

    But he let the case proceed because the allegations “tell a grim story of greed, self-dealing, and lax financial oversight at the highest levels of the National Rifle Association.”
    In addition to the argument about James’s political motivations, the NRA focused much of its defense on the claim it had already instituted enough reforms to self-correct. It argued that many of the illicit expenses at issue in the case did happen, but the NRA had since fired some of those involved and established internal controls to address the problems. It also attacked as unreliable former insiders, including board members and executives, who testified against those claims in court.

    “The NRA Board of Directors, which is the seat of the NRA’s corporate governance, acted in good faith and with ordinary care,” the NRA’s lawyer argued.
    “Ladies and gentlemen, when you’re caught in the act, saying you’re sorry now, saying that you’ll do better, doesn’t mean you didn’t take the cookie,” the AG’s lawyer responded.
    As has been the case with some current NRA insiders, the group’s current leadership failed to convince the jury they resolved the issues.
    Neither the NRA nor the AG responded to requests for comment.
    Judge Cohen will now schedule the next trial phase, where he will be responsible for determining the final settlement of the case.
     

    P-12 Norm

    Why be normal?
    Sep 9, 2009
    1,688
    Bowie, MD
    Just like they went after all Trump's assets.
    The NY State Judiciary is as evil and corrupt as the Progressive Party.
     

    Doco Overboard

    Ultimate Member
    This Letitia James sure gets things done.
    Perhaps soon someone will be looking into her representative organizations monetary affairs and using a similar strategy.
    Should have been done long ago, but evidently infighting amongst her social opposition is more popular than being effective.
    She'll be president of the United States one day and it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
     

    Schipperke

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 19, 2013
    18,726
    NRA is the non gun owners whipping boy. They have no clue of other 2A organizations.
     

    mal316

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jun 3, 2023
    154
    Frederick, MD
    One thing that aggravated me big time about the NRA was their frequent misleadingly worded mail, with bolded black and red words on the envelope like "FINAL NOTICE". You'd open the envelope to see that it was just more of the same asking for money, or asking for extending your membership when you already have 3 years to go.

    I could see right through it, but I imagine that older folks might take the bait and renew their membership thinking it was nearly expired.

    I thought it reflected poorly on the org.
     

    TheOriginalMexicanBob

    Ultimate Member
    Jul 2, 2017
    32,816
    Sun City West, AZ
    Not saying there wasn’t wrongdoing…not saying those involved aren’t guilty…but this entire thing was a political prosecution on the part of NYAG Letitia James. She wasn’t out to save the NRA from its leaders who became corrupt…she was out to destroy the NRA And said as much.

    I have no doubt Letitia James has higher political aspirations. She wants to be Governor…or even replace Kamala Harris should she get tossed out as VP…maybe even US Attorney General or even a seat on the Supreme Court.

    This entire case was resume enhancement.
     

    BurkeM

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 8, 2014
    1,630
    Baltimore
    Not sure how I feel about this. LaPierre has done a lot of damage to the cause.
    He lost. He has been ordered to REIMBURSE the members for his unreasonable expenses.

    If he manages to come up with the cash, money can go back into EDUCATION and TRAINING.

    (He'll have to give up a large part of his grotesque retirement package.)
     

    Jim12

    Let Freedom Ring
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 30, 2013
    34,001
    He lost. He has been ordered to REIMBURSE the members for his unreasonable expenses.

    If he manages to come up with the cash, money can go back into EDUCATION and TRAINING.

    (He'll have to give up a large part of his grotesque retirement package.)
    Nice timing, for NY court's NRA judgment to coincide with Trump judgment.

    Coincidence?

    Some say there's no such thing as coincidence.
     

    dist1646

    Ultimate Member
    May 1, 2012
    8,784
    Eldersburg
    Many of us knew that Wayne LaPuke had to go long beforehand. LaPierre and his cronies were doing far more harm than good for years. Sadly, one of them was not removed from office as a result of this case. While I agree that the prosecution was initiated by politics, I believe that it has done us a great favor in removing certain elements that abused their positions. There are still some of the "good 'ol boy" network in positions of power and they also need to go because they enabled the corruption in the first place. Once they are gone, the NRA will be born again and come back even stronger. Pay very close attention to who you vote for when it comes to the Board of Directors!
     

    ThunderStick

    Active Member
    May 12, 2013
    257
    Garrett County
    One thing that aggravated me big time about the NRA was their frequent misleadingly worded mail, with bolded black and red words on the envelope like "FINAL NOTICE". You'd open the envelope to see that it was just more of the same asking for money, or asking for extending your membership when you already have 3 years to go.

    I could see right through it, but I imagine that older folks might take the bait and renew their membership thinking it was nearly expired.

    I thought it reflected poorly on the org.
    With the countless TAG (Truth about Guns) polls I've received over the years of being a Life Member of the NRA, there is the 'obligatory' request for donation. I faithfully answered the questions in those polls as a good conservative should. As far as the requested donation? My answer was written on the donation form: "Sorry, I cannot donate at this time. Democrats are taxing me too much!!!" Then mailed the poll to the NRA. 'Nuff Said.....
     

    wpage

    Ultimate Member
    Oct 17, 2022
    1,935
    Southern Delaware
    Some good changes will come from this. Had the case not happened, this abuse may have continued. Its a plague of many orgs. The American Red Cross for example only 10% of donations actually make it to needy.

    New leadership at the NRA is good. A vote for Mr. Siegler for the board is a good choice on the recent ballot. Mr. Siegler is a local and dedicated fighter for the 2A cause. Very active in the DSSA. Delaware State Sportsman Association, a great org...
     

    lazarus

    Ultimate Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    13,723
    Not saying there wasn’t wrongdoing…not saying those involved aren’t guilty…but this entire thing was a political prosecution on the part of NYAG Letitia James. She wasn’t out to save the NRA from its leaders who became corrupt…she was out to destroy the NRA And said as much.

    I have no doubt Letitia James has higher political aspirations. She wants to be Governor…or even replace Kamala Harris should she get tossed out as VP…maybe even US Attorney General or even a seat on the Supreme Court.

    This entire case was resume enhancement.
    No doubt. In general, everyone has committed a crime, especially by the time they are middle aged.

    That said, NRA leadership was legit dirty. If you are going to wear a target, at least follow the spirit of the law if not do your best to follow the letter of it. All of the self dealing, waste, and abuse going on was fairly public even before the NYAG lawsuit.

    So was it a political prosecution? Sure thing. Did NRA leadership need to be cleaned up/cleaned house? Also yes. So its hard not to feel really mixed on this one.

    I just hope this leads to new leadership that'll actually reform the culture at the top of the org and move it forward rededicating it to safety, training, and lobbying. Rather than how much member funds can we suck out for ourselves.
     
    May 21, 2017
    2,894
    Gaithersburg, MD
    The NRA took millions of dollars from hard-working folks and, while they've done a lot of good things, greed got the best of some of them. As I've stated before, I used to work for Bell Atlantic and the NRA HQ was one of the places we serviced. It was only outdone by the Saudi embassy in terms of opulence. The NRA leadership needs a complete culture shift, a rededication to the support of the 2A and NRA members, who generally don't live like kings.

    I'll believe it's happened when I see it. Until then, not one more dime from me.
     

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