NRA Bankruptcy Proceedings

NRA Accountants’ List of Top Concerns Memo

July 8, 2021

Summary

In 2018 and 2019, NRA accountants put together a list of concerns they had about the NRA’s business practices for the NRA Audit Committee.  This list has previously been referenced in press accounts of the NRA’s financial mismanagement, but now thanks to the NRA’s failed bankruptcy trial we have the actual memo (attached below). The document, marked NYAG Exhibit 72 from the NRA’s bankruptcy trial, is among the more revelatory court records made public. NRA Watch has reviewed the exhibit and includes some highlights below.

Key Points

  • “Financial Conflicts of Interest” among the Senior Management: Specifically notes that CFO Woody Phillips “payments made to ‘significant other’”; discusses fundraiser Tyler Schropp relationship with a vendor; and has a passage on Josh Powell where, among other things, it notes “wife recently hired at top vendor, father paid by a top vendor with fees passed through to NRA on vendor bills….”
  • Conflicts among the Board of Directors: Notes arrangements “not being disclosed” and “impairing independence….”
  • Check to Facilitate Purchase of Mansion for CEO Wayne LaPierre:  “Forced payment to WBB Investments LLC for $70K without W9, vague description….”
  • Vendor Issues: The memo notes that “management has subordinated its judgment to vendors – decisions are made in the best interest of vendors.”
  • “Vague and Deceptive Billing by Preferred Vendors/Contractors….”: Includes discussion of “billing of $1.8M for rental house that belongs to Stanton/McKenzie – an owner of Associated TV.”
  • “Carry Guard Issues”: The memo notes “misleading the Board over how the Lockton Affinity/NRA relationship was handled and terminated, ignoring and threatening staff who spoke out against Carry Guard…. Misrepresenting the actual incurred costs of Carry Guard to the Board of Directors.”
  • Missing Guns: The memo claims that certain firearms, purchased by the NRA starting in 2005, were on the NRA’s books “where we have no indication of where the firearms are located (over $1M in assets).”
  • Excessive Reimbursements: Points to certain employees receiving “expenses relating to apartments and living expenses beyond HR Policy Manual….” Individuals named include Josh Powell, Joe DeBergalis, Eric Frohardt, and Doug Hamlin.