NRA In Court Defending its Bankruptcy Bid
Top National Rifle Association officials and their lawyers defended the organization's decision to seek bankruptcy protection during a contentious federal court hearing in Dallas this week, saying the move is necessary in the face of what they describe as a politically motivated investigation by the state of New York, reports the Washington Post. New York Attorney General Letitia James says the gun rights organization is improperly pursuing bankruptcy to avoid a sweeping lawsuit accusing the group of fiscal mismanagement. The bankruptcy case "is itself a master class in bad faith and dishonest conduct," said assistant NY Attorney General Monica Connell in court Monday, contending that NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre concealed the bankruptcy plan from the NRA board and its general counsel until after it was announced.
The NRA maintains it is in sound financial condition, but said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to move to Texas because of the existential threat presented by the New York suit. The NRA's longtime advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen, also is opposing the bankruptcy petition, arguing that it is a ploy to avoid litigation and scrutiny of the group's spending. NRA lawyers told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Harlin Hale that efforts to block the bankruptcy petition would put the organization at grave risk. NRA lawyer Greg Garman said the group's CEO, Wayne LaPierre, had addressed financial abuses inside the group that emerged in the past few years. Court filings have shown that the group was informed by the IRS that it owes $3.4 million in taxes dating to 2014, and that it paid for mosquito control at LaPierre's home, citing the expense as intended for "security purposes." In a deposition, LaPierre said he took refuge on a Hollywood producer's 108-foot yacht in recent years after receiving threats after mass shootings.
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