New York State has filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its controversial president Wayne LaPierre for misappropriating tens of millions of dollars, with much of it going to support LaPierre’s “luxury” lifestyle.
LaPierre lavished money on himself for such luxuries as private air travel, golf memberships, gifts, luxury vacations and hid the expenditures by laundering them through the NRA’s advertising agency. The agency is headed by a longtime crony.
The NRA is registered as a charitable organization in the state of New York. It’s required under its non-profit charter to comply with procedures and reporting requirements governing its spending.
In all, State Attorney General Letitia James filed a 169 page civil complaint with 18 separate charges.
Among the remedies, James said the state is seeking to dissolve the NRA, full restitution of funds and the ouster of LaPierre, including a lifetime ban on participating in charitable organizations.
The Attorney General’s office was instrumental in uncovering mis-spending and fraud in President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation, which has since been dissolved.
The New York Independent called for LaPierre’s ouster in Feb. 2018 driving the gun group off the rails deep into alt-right politics. The group contributed $30 million to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
LaPierre has increasingly politicized the NRA during his 17-year tenure as chief executive and executive vice president. In the process he’s distorted its message, bullied Congress and turned the nation into a free fire zone, where almost anybody can buy a deadly assault rifle.
Since Trump took office, the organization under LaPierre has increasingly adopted the rhetoric of the hard-right and white supremacists, attacking gun control advocates as “Socialists” and “Communists” or worse.
“We are seeking to dissolve the NRA for years of self-dealing and illegal conduct that violate New York’s charities laws and undermine its own mission,” said James on Twitter.
“The NRA diverted millions of dollars away from its charitable mission for personal use by senior leadership.”
The actions contributed to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years.
[The defendants] and board members at the NRA abused their power and illegally diverted or facilitated the diversion of tens of millions of dollars from the NRA,” she continued.
“The NRA has failed to carry out its stated mission for many years, and instead, operated as a breeding ground for greed and abuse.”