The ad firm at the center of a heated conflict with the National Rifle Association has said NRA chief Wayne LaPierre charged the vendor hundreds of thousands of dollars for foreign travel and expensive suits, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The expenses — allegedly incurred by Oklahoma City advertising firm Ackerman McQueen — supposedly covered more than $240,000 in trips to Hungary, Italy, the Bahamas, and elsewhere, according to a letter Ackerman sent to the NRA asking for documentation.
The NRA sued its longtime ad firm last month, alleging that the company was withholding information the gun rights lobby needed to conduct a full audit of the pair’s financial relationship.
The Journal separately reported that LaPierre received $200,000 in suits paid for by Ackerman, many of which supposedly came from a Beverly Hills vendor of menswear from Italian luxury brand Ermenegildo Zegna.
The newspaper reported that the transactions raised questions about whether LaPierre was channelling his personal expenses through Ackerman — an NRA vendor — to conceal them from the gun rights group’s board, which has a legal obligation to review related-party transactions.
The New York State attorney general’s office is investigating the NRA, in part over allegations of related-party transactions.