Former NRA exec director reaches deal with New York AG

A National Rifle Association executive reached a last-minute deal with New York Attorney General Letitia James Saturday on the eve of a multi-million dollar civil corruption trial against the organization that begins Monday.

Joshua Powell, the former executive director of the embattled non-profit and one of five defendants named in the AG’s lawsuit, agreed to pay $100,000 and admitted to misusing charitable funds, according to a statement from James’s office.

Powell was the former chief of staff to Wayne LaPierre, the longtime leader of the NRA who stepped down Friday after three decades at the helm of the gun rights group. LaPierre will exit Jan. 31, the group said in a statement.

“Joshua Powell’s admission of wrongdoing and Wayne LaPierre’s resignation confirm what we have alleged for years: the NRA and its senior leaders are financially corrupt,” said James in the statement.

“More than three years ago, my office sued the NRA and its senior management for decades of financial abuse and mismanagement. These are important victories in our case, and we look forward to ensuring the NRA and the defendants face justice for their actions.”

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne La Pierre, the executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, resigned this week after more than 30 years at the helm of the gun rights group. AP

James brought the lawsuit against the group in 2020, alleging that senior management used the non-profit as their “personal piggybank,” allegedly using millions of dollars in donations for expensive meals, family trips to the Caribbean and private jets.

An effort by the NRA to dismiss the New York lawsuit against them met with failure in January 2021, the same month that the group filed for bankruptcy protection and announced it was leaving “toxic” New York and reincorporating in Texas.

Though headquartered in Virginia, the group was chartered as a non-profit in New York in 1871 and was incorporated in the state.

Letitia James speaking at a podium
New York Attorney General Letitia James accused the NRA of using its donations as a “personal piggybank” in a civil lawsuit brought against the non-profit in 2020. JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas,” LaPierre said at the time.

In May 2021, a federal judge dismissed the bankruptcy case, saying it was not filed in good faith.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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