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Jury orders former NRA chief to repay millions for misuse of funds

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  • Staff Report 

In a significant ruling, a New York jury found Wayne LaPierre, the former head of the National Rifle Association (NRA), guilty of misusing the organization’s funds for personal luxuries. The jury has ordered LaPierre to repay nearly $4.4 million to the NRA, marking a major setback for the gun rights advocate. Wilson Phillips, the NRA’s retired finance chief, was also ordered to repay $2 million to the organization. This decision follows allegations that LaPierre used NRA funds for private plane trips, exotic vacations, and other personal expenses.

The verdict was hailed as a “major victory” by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who emphasized the importance of accountability and integrity, irrespective of an organization’s power or influence. The trial scrutinized the NRA’s financial practices, highlighting significant mismanagement and violations of New York law, including the lack of a whistleblower policy. The case has further tarnished the NRA’s reputation, already marred by financial difficulties and declining membership.

This legal battle forms part of a broader investigation into the NRA’s not-for-profit status, initiated by James in 2020. The trial not only exposed the lavish spending habits of its leaders but also questioned the organization’s governance and financial controls. As the NRA faces these challenges, the verdict underscores the ongoing scrutiny of nonprofit organizations and the importance of ethical leadership.