New York Attorney General seeks to dissolve National Rifle Association

New York Attorney General seeks to dissolve National Rifle Association

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to disband the National Rifle Association (NRA), claiming its top officials diverted millions of dollars from the influential gun group for their personal use and enriched their families and close associates by awarding lucrative contracts.

James said that the NRA was "a breeding ground for greed, abuse, and brazen illegality".

LaPierre, who also serves as CEO, has held the top position at the organization for almost 30 years.

James' lawsuit alleges that Phillips, whose job it was to manage the financial operations of the charitable organization, lied on financial disclosure forms and set up numerous deals to enrich himself and his girlfriend.

The attorneys general of CT and Vermont, as well as the corporation counsel for New York City all joined New York Attorney General James in filing the motion for a preliminary injunction that was affirmed on Wednesday.

Powell, the chief of staff to LaPierre, was sacked after three-and-a-half years at the NRA for, among other things, misappropriating NRA funds, the complaint said.

Mr North, who was interviewed by state investigators, had accused Mr LaPierre of using the NRA to enrich himself.

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 hiring of Powell's wife was hidden from the NRA's general counsel, the lawsuit said.

She is also asking that all four executives be blocked from ever serving on the board of a NY charity. Powell's wife was then hired by McKenna for $30,000 a month, all of which was passed on to the NRA and which Powell hid from the organization's attorneys "in an effort to not draw attention to and affirmatively hide the conflict of interest, and her role was not pre-approved by the NRA board, as the organization's policy requires".

Because the original injunction had been stayed by the US Supreme Court, last week the trial court issued a second preliminary injunction against the Public Charge Rule, just for the duration of the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, finding that the rule was "exacerbating the spread of the disease by deterring people from seeking needed health care".

The nepotism continued, the lawsuit alleges, with Powell requesting an NRA vendor to add his father to a rotation of paid photographers.

Among the laws James claims the NRA violated are those governing its charitable status, false reporting on IRS and state filings, and improper income tax withholding.

James also said, "This sends a strong and loud message that no one is above the law - not even the NRA!"

"The cost that we bore was probably about a hundred-million-dollar hit in lost revenue and real cost to this association in 2018 and 2019", LaPierre said, according to a recording by a source in the room. The organization has shown financial support for Trump. Facing congressional inquiries and investigations by multiple state attorneys general, as well as internal whistleblower complaints, the NRA's finances have sagged under the burden of legal costs. These actions contributed to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years for the NRA.

The turmoil at the NRA also could have political ramifications ahead of the 2020 elections.

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

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