NRA Under Pressure From Grifting Allegations, NY Attorney General Probe

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 26: U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he stands on stage along with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (R), and Executive Director NRA-ILA Chris Cox... INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 26: U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he stands on stage along with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (R), and Executive Director NRA-ILA Chris Cox (L) at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The convention, which runs through Sunday, features more than 800 exhibitors and is expected to draw 80,000 guests. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 29, 2019 10:38 am
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The National Rifle Association went into its annual meeting this weekend grappling with detailed accusations of massive financial wrongdoing by top executives. Then came the announcement that New York State Attorney General Letitia James has opened an investigation into the non-profit gun group.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the investigation focuses partly on allegations of self-dealing by the group’s executives. A person familiar with the matter told the newspaper that James’ office is looking into “related-party transactions between the NRA and its board members; unauthorized political activity; and potentially false or misleading disclosures in regulatory filings.”

NRA executives expect a “dissolution action” to emerge from the probe, the story says.

The NRA faces internal turmoil in part because of its relationship with Oklahoma ad firm Ackerman McQueen, the non-profit’s image-maker and close partner since the early 1980s. The NRA recently sued Ackerman for allegedly over-billing for its services — a practice that multiple former NRA executives told TPM extended back decades.

The Journal cites NRA outside counsel William A. Brewer III as telling board members in January that he expects James, a Democrat, to “pursue a dissolution action against the NRA.”

Brewer’s father-in-law is Angus McQueen, a top Ackerman executive.

The NRA has been chartered in New York State since its 1871 founding as a postbellum marksmanship club.

“It was very crazy for them to keep the charter in New York; I think they should have moved the charter decades ago,” gun rights activist Jeff Knox told TPM last week.

New York regulators slammed 10 insurance firms with fines in December 2018 for underwriting an NRA insurance policy called “Carry Guard,” which covers legal fees for people who claim self-defense in shooting incidents. Critics derided the program as “murder insurance.”

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