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New York Jury Orders LaPierre To Pay NRA $4.3M In Damages

A New York jury found the National Rifle Association and former CEO Wayne LaPierre, liable in a civil corruption case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Jurors ordered LaPierre to pay the gun group more than $4.3 million in damages, reports The Trace. Although LaPierre announced his resignation three days before the trial began, the jury agreed that the evidence warranted his removal. Wilson Phillips, a longtime NRA treasurer who left in 2018, and John Frazer, the gun group’s general counsel, were also found liable for failing to be faithful stewards of NRA assets. The jury ordered Phillips to pay the organization $2 million in damages. The jury found no monetary liability on Frazer’s part.

The verdict comes nearly five years after The Trace reported that a small group of NRA insiders and vendors had extracted millions of dollars from the group’s budget through gratuitous payments, sweetheart deals, and opaque financial arrangements. “This verdict is a major victory for the people of New York and our efforts to stop the corruption and greed at the NRA,” James said. “LaPierre and senior leaders at the NRA blatantly abused their positions and broke the law.” LaPierre admitted to having mishandled NRA funds. LaPierre’s attorney, Kent Correll, described his client as a “genius” of politics and marketing who was “focused on the big picture,” not spending details. “His business judgment was good on the big things,” Correll said. “His judgment failed him on some of the little things." The NRA sought to distance itself from LaPierre, citing his resignation in a list of the organization’s “clear corrective actions.” Sarah Rogers, one of the NRA’s attorneys, portrayed the gun group as the true victim. “Misconduct against the NRA is not misconduct by the NRA,” she told jurors.


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