WSJ: IRS Opens Criminal Probe Into NRA Honcho Wayne LaPierre

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Wayne LaPierre,  executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, speaks at the NRA-ILA's Leadership Forum at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The convention is the largest annual gathering for the NRA's more than 5 million members.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28: Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, speaks at the NRA-ILA's Leadership Forum at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. T... ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28: Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, speaks at the NRA-ILA's Leadership Forum at the 146th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits on April 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The convention is the largest annual gathering for the NRA's more than 5 million members. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 5, 2020 3:49 p.m.

The Internal Revenue Service is conducting an investigation around allegations of criminal tax fraud in longtime NRA leader Wayne LaPierre’s personal tax returns, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The scope of the investigation is unclear. It comes after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the gun group in August, seeking its dissolution over allegations of massive self-dealing. James at the time said she had referred the question of whether LaPierre evaded taxes to the IRS.

In that lawsuit, James singled out LaPierre and other top NRA executives for allegedly using the non-profit as their personal piggy bank. LaPierre, for example, allegedly billed the NRA for lavish expenses including taxidermy services for animals killed on big game hunting trips, while his wife would allegedly run expenses for her personal private jet travel through the gun group.

The question for James and other investigators would likely be whether indulgences that LaPierre received from the NRA qualified as some sort of taxable income, and whether the personal tax returns that are the reported subject of the IRS’s investigation were accurate.

The NRA paid LaPierre $2.2 million in 2018, the non-profit’s regulatory filings show.

Read the story here.

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