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NY Suit: LaPierre Files His Answer

In the New York lawsuit, Wayne LaPierre’s Answer has just been filed. There are some amazing admissions, or we might say, confessions, here, especially regarding the use of NRA money on chartered private jets. Those cost about $7,000 per flight hour, plus expenses, so a trip from Fairfax to the West Coast will cost NRA members about $35,000 each way. We’ll just use the paragraph numbers from the Answer, and skip putting quotation marks around each paragraph.

Begin Answer

148. Mr. LaPierre denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 148 of the Complaint, except admits that National Rifle Association of America records show that between June 2016 and February 2018, the organization initially paid for certain flights for his wife and extended family that were related to National Rifle Association of America business when he was not a passenger, that he admitted that he authorized some of these flights, that the flights were not approved for security reasons, and that the flights were not approved by the National Rifle Association of America Board, and states that he has reimbursed the National Rifle Association of America for those flights. [Which is like a burglar defending his conduct by saying, after he got caught, he returned the stolen property].

149. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, in August 2016, he authorized a private flight for his wife’s niece and her husband to fly from Dallas, TX, to North Platte, NE so that his wife’s niece could attend a National Rifle Association of America Women’s Leadership Forum meeting. . . .

150. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, in July 2017, he authorized a private flight for his wife’s niece and her daughter to fly from Dallas, TX, to Orlando, FL, and … states that the amount of this benefit realized from this flight was reimbursed by Mr. LaPierre with interest.

151. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, in October 2016, he authorized a private flight for his wife to fly alone from Madison, WI, to Kearney, NE, and . . .  expenses that were determined to constitute excess benefits were reimbursed by Mr. LaPierre to the National Rifle Association of America with interest.

152. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that in January 2017, he authorized a private jet to pick up his wife’s niece’s husband in North Platte, NE, on the way to Las Vegas for a Safari Club convention, that he authorized a private flight to fly his wife’s niece’s husband back to Nebraska, and . . .  states that expenses associated with private air travel which were determined to constitute excess benefits were reimbursed by Mr. LaPierre to the National Rifle Association of America.

155. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that, in November 2018, he and his wife took a private roundtrip flight from Washington D.C. to Dallas, TX, and stopped in North Platte, NE, on each leg of the trip, to pick up and drop off his wife’s niece and grandniece so that he, his wife and his wife’s niece could work together on the National Rifle Association of America’s Women’s Leadership Foundation business, and states that charges associated with private air travel which constituted potential excess benefits were reimbursed by Mr. LaPierre.

156. Mr. LaPierre  . . . admits that in March 2019, he and his wife took a private flight from Washington D.C. to Orlando, FL, and stopped in North Platte, NE, on the way back, to drop off his wife’s niece and grandniece and to do a speech at a Friends of the National Rifle Association of America dinner, and that, in April 2019, he and his wife took a private flight from Washington D.C. to Tulsa, OK, making stops in Omaha and North Platte, NE, so he could make a speech at a Friends of the National Rifle Association of America banquet in Omaha, NE, and work the Tulsa, OK gun show, which is reportedly the largest gun show in the country, and states that potential excess benefit amounts relating to these trips were reimbursed by him with interest.

162. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that, on a few occasions, in connection with her work as a volunteer for the National Rifle Association of America’s Women’s Leadership Foundation, Mr. LaPierre’s wife traveled without Mr. LaPierre on a chartered plane, incurring expenses for which Mr. LaPierre has reimbursed the National Rifle Association of America.

165. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, since June 2015, he and his family have taken private flights to and from the Bahamas on occasion and that on some of those trips he stopped in Nebraska to pick up and drop off his wife’s niece and her family, and states that charges deemed to constitute excess benefits were reimbursed by Mr. LaPierre.

166. Mr. LaPierre . . .[admits] that he attended celebrity fundraising events during December in the Bahamas.

173. Mr. LaPierre  . . . admits that he used to frequently meet with the MMP Principal in connection with National Rifle Association of America business, that he took private flights to California on many occasions between late 2013 and early 2017—usually staying at a hotel in Beverly Hills—to meet with the MMP Principal and others, often over lunch or dinner, and that, between 2013 and 2016, the MMP Principal, his wife, and their daughter received gifts from the National Rifle Association of America, for which Mr. LaPierre has reimbursed the National Rifle Association of America.

174. Mr. LaPierre  . . . admits that he has attended “celebrity retreats” organized by the MMP Principal in the past, that when he attended these retreats, which were held annually in the Bahamas in December, he stayed at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, and that his lodging was paid for by the MMP Principal, and that he gave testimony about his visits to the Bahamas, which speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its content. [The head of MMP, one of NRA’s biggest vendors, gave LaPierre Bahama’s vacations in the winter].

175. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, between 2013 and 2018, he visited the Bahamas in the summer, that during these trips, he stayed on a boat named Illusions, which he believed was owned by the MMP Principal, that his family members joined him on these trips, that the boat was equipped with four staterooms, a jet boat, and two jet skis, had a crew that included a chef  . . . .

176. Mr. LaPierre  . . . admits that until April 2021 he did not disclose his use of the boat in the Bahamas on the National Rifle Association of America Financial Disclosure Questionnaires that he, as an officer and ex officio director of the National Rifle Association of America, submitted to the National Rifle Association of America Secretary annually, and that Question 4 of that questionnaire asked:

“Have you or any relative received, or do you or any relative expect to receive, any gift, gratuity, personal favor, or entertainment with either a retail price or fair market value in excess of $250 from any person or entity that has or is seeking to have a business relationship with, or received funds from, NRA or any NRA Entity?”

177. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that he answered no to this question in every questionnaire he submitted from 2008 to 2020. . . .

183. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that since being elected Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association of America, he has not used the National Rifle Association of America’s regular travel agent to make his travel arrangements, that, since the 1990s, he has booked travel through a travel consultant based in Woodland Hills, CA, that that travel consultant billed the National Rifle Association of America through two companies, Inventive Incentive & Insurance Services Inc. and GS2 Enterprises, and that he gave testimony about the travel consultant, which speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its content.

202. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, in May 2017, his wife was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Park Service Foundation (NPSF), and that, over the next few months, he submitted expense reports requesting expense reimbursements for trips taken with his wife to NPSF events in Alaska and Arizona, and that this was in addition to the expense of the flights used to get them to the NPSF events.

203. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that he has submitted expense reports seeking reimbursements for his wife’s niece’s lodging and airfare for events related to National Rifle Association of America business, that he submitted reimbursement requests for his wife’s niece’s travel expenses on occasion, and that, in 2016 and 2017, the National Rifle Association of America reimbursed certain expenses for his wife’s niece’s airfare and lodging, and states that he has reimbursed the National Rifle Association of America for expenses determined to constitute excess benefits and that he has reimbursed the National Rifle Association of America for the $12,332.75 expense associated with his wife’s niece’s stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dallas, Texas in early 2017 referenced in paragraph 203 of the Complaint.

204. Mr. LaPierre  . . . admits that he has been reimbursed for expenses incurred travelling to and from film shoots for Under Wild Skies, a television program, in Europe and Africa, that he had a decades-long friendship with the principal of Under Wild Skies, Inc. (“UWS”), the corporate entity that produces the program, and that, in 2013, he was reimbursed by the National Rifle Association of America for airfare, lodging, and related expenses that he and his wife incurred travelling to Botswana for an Under Wild Skies film shoot on safari .  . . .

206. Mr. LaPierre … admits that, between 2009 and 2017, he expensed membership fees for a golf club located in the Washington D.C. area. . . .

220. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that he gave testimony about an armored vehicle, which speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its content.

222. Mr. LaPierre . . .admits that he and his wife looked at several houses in the Dallas, TX area for possible use as a safe house from time to time.

259. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits, on information and belief, that Phillips retroactively raised Powell’s salary to $800,000. [Treasurer Woody Phillips was able to hand out hundreds of thousands, and raise salaries, without LaPierre or the board being told.]

291. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that he did not consult an executive search firm to assist in identifying qualified candidates for the General Counsel position prior to hiring Frazer, that he did not ask that a search be conducted of Frazer’s prior legal writings or of lawsuits in which he was involved, that he did not take steps to ensure that a credit or social-media check was conducted for Frazer before hiring him as General Counsel. . . .

299. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits, upon information and belief, that, at some point in the 2000s, an investigation of one of his advisors was conducted and investigators concluded that there was no intentional malfeasance on her part, but she was required to repay the National Rifle Association of America for some amount of reimbursement and her National Rifle Association of America credit card was taken away. [This is probably Millie Hallow.]

309. Mr. LaPierre admits that the National Rifle Association of America disclosed in its 2019 Form 990 that the person referred to in paragraph 296 of the Complaint “diverted $41,820.37 from the NRA but has fully repaid the organization, including interest, for a total of $56,241.35.” [Probably Hallow.]

325. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that Ackerman regularly passed expenses to the National Rifle Association of America without justification or appropriate backup. [Nobody talked about this, because Ackerman was then “Wayne’s brain” and could have gotten any NRA employee fired.]

336. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, in 2018, the President of Mercury Group, Tony Makris, offered to accompany him on a visit to a medical clinic, and that, in connection with this visit, he (Mr. LaPierre) flew on a private charter, that he and the president of Mercury Group stayed at the Four Seasons for several days and that the National Rifle Association of America paid for Mr. LaPierre’s private travel associated with this visit to the medical clinic, and states that to the extent certain expenses were deemed to constitute excess benefits, Mr. LaPierre has reimbursed that amount to the NRA with interest.

346. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that, as part of his work for the National Rifle Association of America and as part of his wife’s volunteer work for the National Rifle Association of America Women’s Leadership Forum, he and his wife appeared in episodes of Under Wild Skies, traveling to and participating in big game hunts in the United States, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, and Argentina, and that the expenses associated with these trips— including professional hunter costs, camps, chartered travel, food and beverages, hunting licenses, trophy fees, and taxidermy—were incurred by UWS as part of the show, and lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation that “[a]ccording to the president of Mercury Group and UWS, a single game hunt of this nature could cost upwards of $100,000”.

361. Mr. LaPierre . . . he admits that he was not aware of any consulting services provided to the National Rifle Association of America pursuant to the referenced agreement, and that he gave videotaped testimony about the agreement, which speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its content.

378. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that he gave videotaped testimony regarding whether he thought it was prudent for a charitable nonprofit organization to have an executive negotiate with a vendor while also being paid by that vendor, which speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its content.

409. Mr. LaPierre . . . admits that Board Member No. 5 is a past National Rifle Association of America President and is a current National Rifle Association of America Board member who has been paid under the EVP Consulting Budget, that he (Mr. LaPierre), on behalf of the National Rifle Association of America, and Board Member No. 5 executed a ten-year contract with the Board member, and that he gave videotaped testimony regarding contracts with Board Member No. 5, which speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its content. [Marion Hammer]

462. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that at the time of his discussions with Dissident No. l, Dissident No. 1 had a contract at Fox News, and that the National Rifle Association of America’s bylaws did not permit Dissident No. 1 to receive a salary from the National Rifle Association of America as National Rifle Association of America President. [Oliver North. The by-laws forbid payment of salary to board members. But look at the previous paragraph, about signing a ten-year contract with a powerful board member.]

609. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that one week before the bankruptcy filing, on January 7, 2021, the National Rifle Association of America Board approved a new employment agreement with Mr. LaPierre (the “2021 Employment Agreement”).

619. Mr. LaPierre . . .  admits that he advised three members of the National Rifle Association of America Board of Directors – the President, the First Vice President and the Second Vice President – who comprised the Special Litigation Committee of the Board of Directors – of his intention to put the National Rifle Association of America into bankruptcy before filing the National Rifle Association of America’s bankruptcy petition, and that, upon information and belief, other members of the board were aware that he was considering putting the National Rifle Association of America into bankruptcy before the petition was filed as part of a restructuring and/or reorganization. [The other directors were only aware he was “considering” such a move.]

End of Answer.

NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has admitted, in court and under oath, that he and his cronies “diverted” NRA members’ money to pay for vacations, private jets, luxury hotels, gifts for friends, and everything else. Will the board do anything about this confession? Will they even dare ask him questions about it? We all know the answer to that question.

9 thoughts on “NY Suit: LaPierre Files His Answer

  1. Most whom I know have given up on the NRA. We’ve switched our dollars and our hopes to SAF and to local gun groups. Some have turned to GOA, but SAF seems to be the one seen as the most likely and most trustworthy going forward.

    I’ll miss the connections seen once a year at the NRA annual conventions, but I would never go to one again. SAF? You listening? Any chance you can step in with something for us gunnies to gather at once a year, just to see old friends from across the country? NRA is dead and buried.

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  2. Inquiring minds want to know…all these reimbursements made by LaPierre and others…when were they made? Before the investigations started or only after having been caught?

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  3. I wonder if, when WLP claims to have reimbursed the NRA, the courts have asked for proof? And I also wonder if the depositions, both these and the ones he made in regards to the bankruptcy filing, are enough to bring charges against him. Because they seem to include a lot of issues of him acting against the best interests of the NRA, a non profit org.
    Not a lawyer, of course, but is just seems that the fraud he perpetrated against the members should be grounds for prosecution.

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