Jury Finds NRA and Wayne LaPierre Liable in Civil Corruption Lawsuit

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A civil fraud lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James resulted in a jury finding the NRA and former NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre liable.

Jurors determined that LaPierre had caused $5.4 million in monetary harm to the NRA, of which he had already repaid $1 million.

According to NBC News, the 74-year-old remained composed as the verdict was announced.

The jury also held LaPierre’s co-defendant Wilson Phillips responsible for causing $2 million in monetary harm to the NRA, while finding that Frazer had not caused any financial damage to the organization.

Following this development, Wayne LaPierre made public his decision to step down as the leader of the National Rifle Association (NRA) just days before his civil trial commenced.

Prior to becoming the top law enforcement official in New York state, Letitia James made a promise to pursue the NRA, which she labeled a ‘terrorist organization’.

In August 2020, she declared during a press conference that her office was pursuing legal action to dissolve the NRA completely.

The investigation into the NRA had commenced in 2019, with James alleging that the organization was being used as a personal financial resource by Wayne LaPierre, its Chief Executive.

Subsequently, the National Rifle Association retaliated by filing a lawsuit against Letitia James, who serves as the Attorney General of New York State.

“The NRA continues its defense of a lawsuit by the New York Attorney General, and LaPierre is an individual defendant in that action. It is well-known that the NYAG vowed to pursue the NRA when she was candidate for her office and, upon being elected, filed a lawsuit to dissolve the Association in August 2020. Trial proceedings in that case begin Monday,” the NRA said in a press release.

Excerpt from NBC News:

Wayne LaPierre diverted millions of dollars away from the National Rifle Association to live luxuriously, while the gun rights group failed to properly manage its finances, a jury found Friday.

The verdict comes after five days of deliberations and ends a seven-week long civil corruption trial in New York City.

The other defendants were John Frazer, the NRA’s corporate secretary and general counsel, and Wilson “Woody” Phillips, its former treasurer and chief financial officer.

The jury ruled largely in favor of James, finding that the National Rifle Association failed to properly run its nonprofit and its assets at any time between March 20, 2014 and May 2, 2022.

Jurors also determined that LaPierre, Phillips and Frazer all violated their statutory obligation to discharge the duties of their position in good faith.

Jurors also found that the NRA violated the lawby failing to adopt a whistleblower policy and that eight employees suffered because of the violation.

State Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen will have the final say over monetary damages and remedies. That decision could happen in July.

Cohen could also decide whether any of the individual defendants should be permanently barred from serving on the board of any charity in New York and whether an independent monitor should oversee the NRA’s finances.

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