Ex-NRA chief mismanaged group's money, cost it $5.4mln

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STORY: Former National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre had mismanaged the gun rights group, and cost it $5.4 million,

that’s according to a New York state jury on Friday, ruling in a civil corruption case brought by New York attorney general Letitia James.

LaPierre had already repaid the NRA a little more than $1 million.

Letitia James' lawsuit filed in 2020 accused the group of diverting millions of dollars to fund luxuries for its leaders, as LaPierre enjoyed private jets and expensive trips.

James also said the NRA ignored the need for board approval to waive conflicts of interest and approve insider transactions.

The NRA has since 1871 been a New York-registered nonprofit, meaning its assets must be used to advance charitable needs and serve members.

Defense lawyers called the lawsuit part of a political "witch hunt".

They say James, a Democrat, did not like what it stood for and wanted to silence it.

LaPierre – who also faced possible removal before resigning in January after over three decades as its chief executive - built the NRA into a political powerhouse that pressed Washington and statehouses to expand gun rights, even as mass shootings mounted nationwide.

The jury also found former NRA treasurer and CFO Wilson Phillips cost the organization $2 million through mismanagement.

The jury said John Frazer, the NRA’s current secretary and general counsel, did not harm the organization financially.