There are plenty of bombshells in this report, by forensic accountant Eric Hines, but the biggest set begins on p. 72. He itemizes expenses “passed through” to NRA by the PR agency Ackerman McQueen (CFO Jeff Minson), prior to the Ackerman-NRA breakup.
“Mr. Minson’s April 15, 2016 expense report included $42,915 in flight tickets for Mr. LaPierre (WLP), Mrs. LaPierre (SLP), and Mr. Makris (TM) ($14,305 per ticket), for three line item descriptions: “DC Miami Airfare for WLP [SLP, TM] Argentina Hunting May 2016.”
Mr. Minson’s March 10, 2016, April 15, 2016, and February 14, 2017 expense reports included hotel and lodging fees for Mr. LaPierre: $6,728 for a two-night stay with two rooms at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, FL for “WLP lodging Jan14-16 Orlando FL;” $4,454 for a five-night stay at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas, NV for “Lodging WLP March 8th thru 13th;” and $2,334 for a four-night stay at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas, NV for “WLP lodging in Las Vegas January 14-18,” respectively.
Mr. Minson’s August 16, 2017 expense report included a $6,497 gift for Mr. LaPierre from Blaser USA (a firearm company) for “WLP 25 Anniversary gift.”2
Mike Denney’s February 9, 2017 included $4,185 in charges for technology for Mrs. LaPierre for “Purchase a MacBook Pro, iPad Pro & iPod for Susan LaPierre” and “LAM headphones, Apple TV & HMDI cable for Susan LaPierre.”
Mr. Minson’s April 15, 2016, August 19, 2016, and July 11, 2018 expense reports include $13,283, $8,229, and $11,590 in charges to the Landini Brothers restaurant . . . in meals for Mr. Makris, Mr. LaPierre, Mr. Powell (JP), Tyler Schropp, Millie Hallow, and others.
Mr. Minson’s June 5, 2017 and May 11, 2018 expense reports include $25,300 and $18,656 in charter flights. . . .
Mr. Schropp’s August 28, 2017, February 28, 2018, and March 30, 2018 credit card statements included the following airfare expenses incurred for Mr. Schropp: $5,664 for a roundtrip first-class ticket from Washington, DC (Dulles) to London, England (Heathrow); $2,747 for a one-way business-class ticket from Washington, DC (National) to Phoenix, AZ to San Francisco, CA; and $2,454 for a one-way business-class ticket from Washington, DC (National) to Phoenix, AZ.
Mr. Schropp’s May 29, 2018, February 28, 2018, and October 28, 2017 credit card statements included the following hotel expenses incurred for Mr. Schropp: $9,365 for an eight-night stay (appears to be for two rooms) at the Mansion Turtle Creek in Dallas, TX;$5,703 for a four-night stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA; and $4,685 for a two-night stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
The sixth category included hair and makeup services, provided by Brady Wardlaw and Debbie Dover, among others. The invoices included details indicating the hair and makeup services were for Susan LaPierre, including single invoices for $10,275 and $8,300.” Susan LaPierre’s “getting ready” for NRA events was a little expensive.
The report then focuses on Under Wild Skies. (P. 86) Of the 12 million paid it, the expert was only able to account for 8 million. “I was also able to trace an additional $210,000 expenditure listed in the general ledger to an underlying document outlining the charges related to a game hunting safari in Africa with an entity called Rovos Rail. The invoice related to this trip covered spots for seven individuals at $28,000 per person, as well as a $14,000 gratuity.” Nice tip!
“Mr. LaPierre directed Mr. Makris to pay for various NRA Board Members and Officers and their spouses to participate in big game hunts around the world. These trips were not authorized by resolution of the NRA Board or an authorized committee. According to Mr. Makris, a game hunt of this nature can cost upwards of $100,000.”
The report then deals with Gayle Sanford, the travel agent who arranged the leased jet flights. “From January 2015 through February 2020, the period for which I have relevant general ledger information, I identified $13.5 million payable transactions representing invoices from Stanford to the NRA.” The arrangement violated multiple NRA policies, and in fact didn’t even have written contract. “Considered in totality, the record evidence reflects millions of dollars of expenditures from the NRA to Stanford entities each year which were not subject to applicable reviews, approvals, and internal control steps required by NRA policies. In addition, my analysis indicated the billing mechanisms and fee structures were varied and opaque, as will be discussed subsequently.”
It cites a case where a $41,000 charter flight was to Kearny, Nebraska (to pick up Mrs. LaPierre’s niece) then on to the Bahamas, but LaPierre instructed Stanford to make the invoice read “Wash/Milwaukee/Florida”. (P. 106)
“GS2 invoice number 3094 dated August 23, 2016 for $48,232.59 lists dates in July and August for cars for Mr. LaPierre, Ms. Hallow, and Mr. Schropp. . . .” “On May 25, 2016, Stanford billed the NRA a total of $216,711.82 for car services from May 16 through May 23 in Louisville.” Nearly a quarter mill, to move three people around at the annual meeting?
Then it turns to what sounds like hush money. “Robert Kyle Weaver (“Mr. Weaver”) served in the position of Executive Director of General Operations for ten years until October 2016 when he was terminated, and I understand escorted from NRA property.” NRA then agreed to play him $1.8 million over two years for “consulting services.” Not a bad way to get fired.
“In summary, the NRA entered into this agreement committing the organization to pay $1.8 million to a terminated employee for undefined consulting services without following the required review and approval processes from the NRA Procurement Policy. Furthermore, the NRA processed payments to Mr. Weaver without having invoices or underlying supporting documentation evidencing any services were provided, which is not in accordance with the NRA’s Accounting Procedures and Guidelines.”
Then there’s Wayne Sheets, who retired as head of the NRA Foundation. “H.W.S. Consulting, Inc. (“H.W.S.”) is Mr. Sheet’s business entity through which the NRA paid Mr. Sheets approximately $4.3 million for consulting services post-retirement.”
Then there’s Michel Marcellin, who retired as NRA Managing Director of Affinity and Licensing. “Mr. Marcellin was paid over $2.6 million in post-retirement bonuses from the NRA.” Post-retirement bonuses?
And the former treasurer, Woody Phillips, who upon retiring, got a $30,000/month consulting contract. Nobody can recall him doing any consulting.
The report then focuses on NRA Amex credit cards issued to staff: “Between 2013 and 2020, over $60 million in expenses were charged to credit cards issued to NRA personnel.”
“I observed transactions that appear to be characteristic of purchases at high-end hotels, limousine services, and first and business class flights, among other expense types.” The report lists $10 million for commercial flights, $6 million for high-end hotels, $419,000 for restaurants, and $320,000 for golfing expenses.
“As another example, Thomas Tedrick’s NRA-issued Card statements indicated a September 12, 2018 expense for a business class ticket for passenger Harold Sheets (former NRA employee) at a cost of $4,614. In yet another example, Thomas Tedrick’s NRA-issued Card statements indicated a June 15, 2018 charge expense for a business class ticket for passenger Ms. Meadows (former NRA president) at a cost of $9,861.”
“From 2013 to 2020, there were over 1,000 individual AMEX charges, totaling approximately $560,000, for purchases by NRA Personnel that related to limousine rental services. the vast majority, over $400,000, had been charged to AMEX cards issued to Mr. Phillips, Ms. Hallow, and Mr. Schropp (approximately $200,000, $115,000, and $114,000, respectively. I also noted that limousine expenses had been charged to cards issued to NRA Board Members and other key individuals; for example, Ms. Meadows – Current NRA President (totaling approximately $31,000), Joseph Debergalis – Former NRA Board Member (totaling approximately $23,000), and David Keene – Current NRA Board Member (totaling approximately $2,500).”
“Between 2014 through 2020, there were approximately $420,000 in restaurant expenses by NRA Personnel where individual charges were over $500 each. For example, in the two years 2019 through 2020, there were $18,000 in expenses charged to Ms. Meadows’s NRA-issued Card consisting of 8 transactions at various steakhouses – an average of over $2,000 per visit. In just three days, January 24 to 26, 2018, over $30,000 was charged to Christopher Sprang’s NRA credit card at the restaurant AquaKnox, a high-end seafood restaurant in Las Vegas. Over a five-year period 2014 – 2018, over $60,000 was charged to Mr. Phillips’s NRA-issued Card at Margaritaville in Nashville, at an average cost of $4,000 per visit.”
We are staggered, I can’t put it in other words. Millions of members kicking in their $45 per year, and these people are blowing it all on limos, first class tickets, thousand-dollar dinners, international hunting trips, and golf fees.
14 thoughts on “Another NY Expert Witness Report”
“Between 2013 and 2020, over $60 million in expenses were charged to credit cards issued to NRA personnel.” A question comes to mind, who got the 60 million AMEX points? , if it was the NRA (unlikely) that’s no harm no foul. But if it was an individual – embezzlement? Reported as personal income?
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Excellent question. I have it on good authority that the Amex points were used by Mr. Tedrick himself for personal gain. I hope this is or has been investigated as well.
If the NRA is going to survive it needs a complete house cleaning. A new executive vice president, new officers and a new board of directors. The bylaws should be amended to provide that the executive V. P. position be elected by the membership for a term to not exceed four years. I have been a life member since 1980 but the NRA will not get a penny from me until the organization gets straightened out.
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Amen, seconding this motion.
We did that in 1977 at Cincinnati. It didn’t take long for the Board to convince the members to give election of the EVP back to the Board. Right now, the EVP and all other officers are elected each year by the Board at their meeting right after the Annual Meeting of Members. This Board has reelected WLP 4 times since this scandal broke.
The problem with any election by the membership is that whoever controls the magazines can control those elections. Most eligible members don’t bother to vote (historically between 5% and 8%) and of those who do vote, the vast majority get all of their information about the election from the magazine, and just vote the way the Board recommends. The last of the Cincinnati reforms were eviscerated in 2016 or so, when the Board put some 17 Bylaw amendments in a package for the members to vote on as a single Yes/No vote. Most of the amendments were basic housekeeping stuff that needed to be done, but there were also amendments making it much harder to nominate Director candidates by petition, and ones making recalls and Bylaw amendments by petition virtually impossible.
Can someone explain to me why the “Board,” perhaps they should be called “The Bored,” is allowing the money we raised to defend the Second Amendment to be spent defending these thieves? I have been a member for most of my adult life and am now a Benefactor Member. I will always support the NRA and still do. But this betrayal is beyond unacceptable. George Soros is a vile predatory thief and his creature, Letitia James is just a grandstanding buffoon, but when this is over all these contemptible people may just kill the NRA and the Second Amendment. Shame on them all. The NRA should be in receivership run by honest people who believe in the US Constitution.
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I believe the previous Expert Witness hit the nail on the head (mostly) with his suggestion of “Founder’s Syndrome,” but I think there’s more to it. Several of WLP’s most ardent defenders are either culpable or otherwise tainted due to receiving NRA money from WLP, or due to their blatant failure to do their duty to prevent this stuff. Charles Cotton and David Coy — President and Second Vice President — were Chair and Vice Chair of the Audit Committee with the specific job of looking out for financial chicanery and conflicts of interest. They failed on all counts. Now the Board is moving to amend the Bylaws to allow Cotton to serve a third term as President. He and Coy are still Chair and Vice Chair of the Audit Committee, as well as serving on Finance, Legal, the Special Litigation Committee, and the Executive Compensation Committee… But they’re the “steady hands” the Board is depending on to guide the NRA through these “troubled waters.”
I just published an article about this at Ammoland.com.
The report by the two expert witnesses, a review of the N.Y. Attorney General’s complaint and amended complaint, a review of the bankruptcy hearing, a review of the opinion of the bankruptcy court finding that NRA filed the bankruptcy petition not in good faith, a review of the depositions, and reviewing the former NRA treasurer invoking the 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, present a corporate disorder of nonfeasance, misfeasance, and malfeasance on the part of some NRA board members and officers. Absent the prompt removal of certain board members and officers, the final outcome in the New York court proceedings will not be favorable to NRA’s reputation and longterm survival. That outcome will not be changed by spending millions of dollars on lawyer fees and costs.
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I agree 100% with everything but the past treasurer taking the 5th. He ends up looking like the smartest guy in this entire scheme.
Well, he apparently got away with embezzling over a million bucks from his former employer, being allowed to resign with an agreement to pay back some of the money, so he’s the most experienced of the bunch. Lucky he got the job at NRA instead of trying for a job at McDonalds where they would have checked his references before hiring him.
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Unreal, these amounts. NYAG for the “win” but hopefully the court will give us members the wreckage to rebuild.
On the phone yesterday with an NRA-contracted telemarketer, looking for me to go from Life to Benefactor. I replied that as long as WLP was still employed, even the ILA will not get another penny from me. GOA, SAF for the national wins, TSRA, along with CPRA and ISRA occasionally, from now on until NRA 3.0 emerges (counting “Cincinnati ’77” as 2.0)
TSRA? Texas State Rifle Association, solidly in the camp of Chas. Cotton?
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I keep thinking about resigning my membership, but it took me a long time to pay for endowment life. I don’t want to throw that away in case WLP and the board are removed and the organization is somehow saved
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I seriously doubt many understand the gravity of the situation. Yes, some will likely go to prison. The remaining defendants will lose and be barred from association with charities that do business in the state of New York. OUR association is no longer at risk of a court ordered dissolution, as the NRA was removed by the Court as a party defendant. Dissolution will happen in bankruptcy. While they are trying to keep the train on the financial track they must remove the track behind the train to keep it going forward. Selling HQ might net them 10-15 million. At the current rate, they are burning maybe 4 million a month keeping the train on the track. Soon they will round the curve and see the bridge is out. And just like the North American Hunting Club Your magazine delivery will end.
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