New York Attorney General Letitia James wins again—this time against the domestic terrorist organization and mass shooting-enabler, the National Rifle Association.
On Friday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen threw out the gun lobby’s motion to dismiss the AG’s lawsuit alleging the organization misappropriated funds.
“Once again, a judge has dismissed attempts by the NRA and its senior management to evade the law and avoid the consequences of their actions. As Attorney General, I will always be holding individuals and institutions accountable for their misconduct, no matter how wealthy, powerful, or privileged they may be.”
James first filed the lawsuit against the NRA and its senior management in August 2020, for failing to manage the NRA’s funds, violating numerous state and federal laws—even the NRA’s own bylaws and policies, and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years.
The Empire State’s AG’s office originally filed to dissolve the long-standing gun rights organization, stating on the agency’s website:
Attorney General James charges the organization with illegal conduct because of their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.
Less than a year later, the NRA attempted to file bankruptcy to evade accountability, announcing a reincorporation in Texas, but the New York AG was having none of it, saying, “The NRA’s claimed financial status has finally met its moral status: bankrupt. While we review this filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.”
A Texas court agreed, rejecting the NRA’s motion which the court determined, “the NRA did not file the bankruptcy petition in good faith.”
U.S. bankruptcy judge of the Northern District of Texas, Harlin Hale, rebuked the NRA and its leader Wayne LaPierre, writing in his opinion:
“The question the Court is faced with is whether the existential threat facing the NRA is the type of threat that the Bankruptcy Code is meant to protect against. The Court believes it is not. For the reasons stated herein, the Court finds there is cause to dismiss this bankruptcy case as not having been filed in good faith both because it was filed to gain an unfair litigation advantage and because it was filed to avoid a state regulatory scheme. The Court further finds the appointment of a trustee or examiner would, at this time, not be in the best interests of creditors and the estate.
What concerns the Court most though is the surreptitious manner in which Mr. LaPierre obtained and exercised authority to file bankruptcy for the NRA. Excluding so many people from the process of deciding to file for bankruptcy, including the vast majority of the board of directors, the chief financial officer, and the general counsel, is nothing less than shocking.”
The NRA lost again in June 2022 when State Supreme C0urt Justice Joel Cohen rejected the gun rights organization’s claims that the Attorney General’s investigation was politically motivated.
The narrative that the Attorney General’s investigation into these undeniably serious matters was nothing more than a politically motivated – and unconstitutional – witch hunt is simply not supported by the record.
Justice Cohen went on to say that “the NRA’s factual allegations do not support any viable legal claims that the Attorney General’s investigation was unconstitutionally retaliatory or selective.”
James applauded the court’s decision to throw out the most recent attempt by the NRA, to, she said, “evade the law,” saying in a statement, “Yesterday’s ruling enables the case to move forward and allows Attorney General James to seek an independent monitor to oversee the NRA’s finances as part of her lawsuit against the institution.”
Read the press release here.
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