2 minute read

An 18-month investigation by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James has resulted in the NRA (National Rifle Association) being sued by the State of New York for fraud and abuse.

James’ suit claims that top executives of the organization drained $64 million from the organization in just three years for their own personal gain on top of their already sizable salaries. She said they used the organization as their “personal piggy bank.”

OKC connection

And, Oklahoma City’s largest and oldest advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen, is accused of facilitating some of the many misdeeds by arranging questionable expense reimbursements.

Until a bitter split with the NRA last year, the firm was their key contractor for 38 years.

Ackerman McQueen is credited with developing the NRA’s outreach strategies propelling it from a somewhat quaint hunting promotion and gun safety organization to the powerful political gun-rights lobby they are today closely aligned with the Republican Party.

The NRA’s funds have been strained due to multiple lawsuits with the OKC firm.

News reports Thursday said that Ackerman McQueen has been cooperating with the New York AG in her investigation and claimed that they were operating

One of the better-known videos done for NRATV, a project developed by Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City’s oldest an biggest ad agency.

AG actions

James seeks to dissolve the NRA for the decades of financial misuse of the nonprofit’s member contributions and foundation monies. New York has jurisdiction due to the NRA being incorporated as a nonprofit in the state for 148 years.

A part of the AG’s efforts are to recover money from the four top executives of the NRA for their lavish lifestyles funded by contributions to the NRA.

The Washington Post reported that a separate lawsuit was announced Thursday by the D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine accusing the NRA Foundation of not following its charitable purposes and instead repeatedly lending money to the NRA to cover rising deficits.

Reactions

The NRA hit back with a lawsuit of their own accusing the AG of using the investigation and lawsuit as a political tool in an election year.

“You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle,” the N.R.A.’s president, Carolyn Meadows, said in a statement.

President Trump received millions from the NRA for his 2016 campaign and described the suit as “a very terrible thing” to reporters outside the Whitehouse Thursday. “The N.R.A. should move to Texas and lead a very good and beautiful life.”

But, now that the lawsuit is underway it will be virtually impossible to do that without simply starting over again at zero.


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