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New York AG Sues to Dissolve the NRA

New York AG Sues to Dissolve the NRA

A sprawling lawsuit filed Thursday (Aug 6) in state court in Manhattan alleges the NRA diverted charitable donations for years to enrich the organisation's top executives in violation of laws governing nonprofits, New York Attorney-General Letitia James said in a statement.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine also filed a lawsuit against the NRA and the NRA Foundation, which is incorporated in D.C., in the superior court alleging misuse of charitable funds. The lawsuit also seeks to withdraw LaPierre and Frazer from the organisation's leadership and prevent the four executives from ever serving on the board of a charity in NY again.

Mr Donald Trump paid US$2 million in damages a year ago after his charitable foundation reached a settlement with the Attorney-General, who accused the president and his children of rampantly violating non-profit rules.

James said this "bait-and-switch" consequently jeopardized the ability of Caribbean and other immigrants of becoming legal permanent residents or renewing their visas if they used the supplemental benefits to which they are legally entitled. In addition to dissolving the NRA, James is seeking to recoup the millions of dollars in lost assets.

"The NRA's influence has been so powerful that the organisation went unchecked for decades while top executives funnelled millions into their own pockets".

The New York lawsuit also named Mr LaPierre and three other current and former executives as defendants: corporate secretary and general counsel John Frazer, retired treasurer and chief financial officer Wilson Phillips, and Mr LaPierre's former chief of staff Joshua Powell.

The NRA is one of the most powerful and rich organizations in the USA, and it draws its vast resources mainly from blue-collar members who are frightened into paying dues with vague threats that the left wants to take their guns.

In announcing the lawsuit, the attorney general told reporters the NRA "has operated as a breeding ground for greed, abuse and brazen illegality". He and his family allegedly traveled to the Bahamas by private jet at least eight times in three years, costing the NRA more than $500,000. On many of those trips, LaPierre and his family were gifted the use of a 107-foot yacht owned by an NRA vendor.

Ms James alleges Mr LaPierre spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of NRA funds for private plane trips for himself and his family, visited the Bahamas eight times in the last three years at a cost of almost half a million dollars. He personally hired Phillips, Powell, and Frazer, the complaint said.

Phillips, the former treasurer and CFO, violated NRA policy, lied on financial disclosure forms, and set up a deal worth more than $1 million that benefitted his girlfriend, the complaint said. The lawsuit also claims Phillips allowed NRA executives to fraudulently bill millions of dollars in entertainment and travel costs through a scheme involving Ackerman McQueen, the gun organization's longtime public relations and advertising firm.

As NRA Under Fire reported, LaPierre for years had helped the NRA wielded its political power to dominate America's conversation about gun rights and gun control - outlasting and overpowering the calls for change that followed mass shooting after mass shooting, from Columbine to Newtown to Charleston. In the attorney general's lawsuit he is accused of using charitable funds for personal gain, including a post-employment contract valued at more than $17 million that was not approved by the NRA's board of directors.