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Jury Finds NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Guilty, Orders Him To Repay $4.3M For Misuse of Charitable Funds

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Former National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

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For years Wayne LaPierre dismissed charges of malfeasance under his watch as unfounded. He fired or replaced whistleblowers like Col. Oliver North. And then Latitia James caught up with him.

On Friday, after six weeks of trial and five days of deliberations, a jury found the NRA’s now-former head “liable” in a civil corruption trial. While jail time never was on the menu in this civil trial, restitution and penalties certainly were. And the jury told ol’ Wayne to break out his checkbook. They tagged him for $4.3 million.

ABC7Chicago has the story:

NEW YORK — After five days of deliberations, a jury in New York on Friday held the National Rifle Association liable for financial mismanagement and found that Wayne LaPierre, the group’s former CEO, corruptly ran the nation’s most prominent gun rights group.

The jury determined that LaPierre’s violation of his duties cost the NRA $5,400,000, though he already repaid more than $1 million to the organization.

LaPierre, staring forward with his hands clasped in his lap, sat in the first row of the gallery while the jury read the verdict.

The New York Attorney General’s Office sued the NRA and its senior management in 2020, claiming they misappropriated millions of dollars to fund personal benefits — including private jets, family vacations and luxury goods. The accusations came at the end of a three-year investigation into the NRA, which is registered in New York as a nonprofit charitable corporation.

The jurors, who began deliberating on Feb. 16, were asked to weigh transactions like hair and makeup for LaPierre’s wife, payments or speaking fees to board members, and contracts with favored vendors willing to pay kickbacks.

LaPierre announced his resignation from the organization on Jan. 5, days before the start of the trial, citing health reasons, according to the NRA.

The lawsuit alleged that LaPierre filled executive positions at the NRA with unqualified loyalists in order to maintain control and conceal self-dealing, including co-defendants John Frazer, general counsel, and Woody Phillips, the former chief financial officer, the attorney general’s lawsuit said. The three of them stand accused of breaching the trust of donors by using charitable money for luxury travel, private planes and five-star hotels, along with entering into multimillion-dollar contracts with favored vendors willing to pay.

Time will tell if the court removes Mr. LaPierre’s cronies from leadership as well.

The organization spent tens of millions of dollars on legal fees defending LaPierre and his buddies each year for the past few years. Hopefully that will end soon once this case is finally resolved.

Just imagine what the NRA might have accomplished in lobbying, training programs, competition programs and litigation if it wasn’t spending tens of millions on legal bills defending LaPierre and his pals. To say nothing of all of the extravagant expenses lavished upon WLP.

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