Thursday, November 26, 2020
As previously blogged, the National Rifle Association and its executives continue to be under fire for excess personal benefit. The Washington Post reported yesterday: "After years of denying allegations of lax financial oversight, the National Rifle Association has made a stunning declaration in a new tax filing: Current and former executives used the nonprofit group’s money for personal benefit and enrichment." In its 2019 Form 990 (not yet publicly available), the NRA confirmed its ongoing internal review of alleged "excess benefits" being paid to its chief executive Wayne LaPierre and five other former executives. According to the Post article, the NRA disclosed in the tax filing that it “became aware during 2019 of a significant diversion of its assets.” In its Form 990, the NRA estimates it paid nearly $300,000 in travel expenses on behalf of LaPierre between 2015 and 2019 and treats the payments as automatic excess benefits under Treasury Regulations section 53.4959-4(C). In addition, the NRA states that LaPierre has repaid this excess benefit plus interest to the organization, concluding that the excess benefit has been corrected.
This new revelation comes four months after the attorney general of New York state filed a lawsuit accusing LaPierre and other NRA executives of misappropriating organization funds for decades, resulting in them receiving inflated salaries and large expense accounts.