New York – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after the National Rifle Association (NRA) dropped a countersuit filed the same day Attorney General James filed her lawsuit to dissolve the organization last summer:
“The NRA dropping its countersuit today in federal court is an implicit admission that their strategy would never prevail. The truth is that Wayne LaPierre and his lieutenants used the NRA as a breeding ground for personal gain and a lavish lifestyle. We were victorious against the organization’s attempt to declare bankruptcy, and our fight for transparency and accountability will continue because no one is above the law.”
Last August, Attorney General James filed a lawsuit against the NRA and four of the organization’s current or former top executives for failing to manage the NRA’s funds; failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, as well as the NRA’s own bylaws and policies; and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years. The suit was filed against the NRA as a whole, as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer.
This past January, in an effort to avoid accountability, the NRA filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy even though the organization still claimed to have healthy financial reserves. Over the course of the bankruptcy trial, LaPierre and other senior leaders admitted that the bankruptcy was simply a way of avoiding New York’s enforcement action, yet still stated that they believed that New York courts and judges could be trusted to fairly and impartially oversee the case. Last month, a federal bankruptcy court in Texas rejected the organization’s claims of bankruptcy after the NRA sought to reorganize in Texas, stating, “that the NRA did not file the bankruptcy petition in good faith.”