Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

NRA accuses its own executives of using funds to enrich themselves in new tax filing

The revelation comes after a New York lawsuit alleging similar conduct

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Thursday 26 November 2020 01:02 GMT
Comments
The longtime head of the National Rifle Association is allegedly under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for possible tax fraud, according to reports.
The longtime head of the National Rifle Association is allegedly under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for possible tax fraud, according to reports. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Leer en Español

The National Rifle Association, a non-profit gun advocacy group, accused its executives of improperly using the organization’s funds for personal enrichment, according to a tax return obtained byThe Washington Post.

Six top officials, including chief executive Wayne LaPierre, used NRA funds for “excessive benefits,” according to the 2019 document, which also says the allegations are still under review.

Earlier this year, the attorney general of New York filed a lawsuit accusing NRA leadership of wide-ranging financial misconduct and called for dissolving the group.

The tax document says that in 2019 the NRA became aware of “a significant diversion of its assets”. It reportedly says various executives “improperly” used NRA funds, charged expenses that were “not appropriate", and flew first class without authorization. 

"The NRA is committed to strict compliance with its accounting controls and good-governance practices,”  Charles Cotton, an NRA vice president, told the Post.

The filing also says Mr LaPierre, who has led the group for nearly four decades, “corrected” his financial irregularities and reimbursed the NRA nearly $300,00 between 2015 and 2019.

Disputes over the alleged abuses rose between senior leadership, the document reportedly mentions, and partially blames departed officers including former board president Oliver North, famous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, and former chief lobbyist Chris Cox. Former NRA personnel are reportedly cooperating with NY attorney general’s investigation of the group. 

The lawsuit, which New York’s Democratic attorney general Letitia James filed in August, says the NRA’s leaders defrauded the group for decades, at one point allegedly draining $64 million from its coffers in one three-year span. She has called for dissolution of the group, which lobbies against gun control. 

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in