Tuesday, April 6, 2021

NRA Trial Begins

The virtual bankruptcy trial of the NRA filed in Texas kicked off yesterday with opening statements.

The NRA filed for bankruptcy in January in an apparent attempt to escape the jurisdiction of the NY Attorney General who filed to dissolve the firm in New York, where it is organized, in August 2020.

As pointed out by Danny Hakim, one of the most interesting points that came out of the trial on day one is that CFO, Craig Spray, refused to sign the organization’s most recent tax form (Form 990) and was dismissed soon afterwards. 

The WSJ describes the salient features of the first day: 

"National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre put the gun-rights group into chapter 11 to try to evade accountability for spending abuses, a New York attorney general's office lawyer told a judge on Monday, an allegation the NRA denied and said won't be supported by evidence presented at a bankruptcy trial.

"Those who do not go along with the 'Wayne says' policies of the NRA face retribution," said New York Assistant Attorney General Monica Connell, who argued that Mr. LaPierre put the NRA into bankruptcy largely by himself and kept his plan from the group's board as well as its general counsel and treasurer at the time.

NRA lawyer Greg Garman told Judge Harlin Hale of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas that Mr. LaPierre had acted honorably and appropriately in leading the NRA. Mr. LaPierre made the decision to put the group into chapter 11 to prevent New York authorities from potentially putting the NRA into receivership, Mr. Garman said.

"[Mr. LaPierre] is the greatest asset which the board demands to protect," Mr. Garman said, referring to Mr. LaPierre's fundraising skills for the organization."

Philip Hackney

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2021/04/nra-trial-begins.html

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