National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre told a federal bankruptcy judge this week that he violated the organization’s policies by failing to disclose free overseas yacht trips, among other potential conflicts of interests, Bloomberg reports.
Under questioning from a lawyer for New York’s Attorney General, LaPierre defended the use of the yacht, calling the trips a “security retreat.” Family members joined him occasionally on the yacht, which is owned by the principal shareholder of a company that was paid by the organization to raise money, handle public relations and produce television shows, LaPierre acknowledged in his testimony in federal court Wednesday.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Harlin D. “Cooter” Hale will take LaPierre’s testimony into consideration when deciding whether to appoint a trustee to run the NRA while it’s in bankruptcy, or throw the case out, as the New York Attorney General has requested.
The NRA boss said that the yacht excursions were among several items of value that he failed to disclose from 2013 and 2020, including a hunting trip in Botswana.
New York’s top law enforcement officer, Letitia James, is asking a federal bankruptcy judge in Dallas to either appoint a trustee to run the NRA instead of LaPierre, or to throw out its bankruptcy case, which would make it easier for her to seize the group’s assets if she prevails in a New York lawsuit.
Bloomberg noted that “LaPierre put the gun rights group into bankruptcy a few months after James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the organization.”
James filed a lawsuit against LaPierre and the NRA in August after investigating alleged financial misdeeds by the organization’s top executives. The suit seeks to dismantle the NRA and redistribute its $200 million worth of assets to other nonprofits.