Currently, the NRA’s Foundation stands as a non-profit, charitable organization that supports the shooting sports. However, its status as a tax-exempt organization is at risk of being revoked, according to experts and former IRS heads due to its alarming amount of red flags. You may have also heard about the NRA’s financial problems due to their financial mismanagement, but there is an underlying cause for its issues.
Here are the NRA’s latest shadiest contributions and sketchy financial practices.
Accepting Russian Money
Something that has the NRA under extreme scrutiny is its admittance to taking money from foreign donors, possibly including a Russian banker with ties to Kremlin. This is of significance because the FBI is investigating this issue with the belief that the NRA accepted this money and illegally funneled it to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. As we all know, funneling foreign money to influence U.S. elections is highly illegal, and is just one of the reason why the NRA’s shady financial history is being looked at so closely.
Unreported Donations to Wayne LaPierre’s Wife’s Charity
Another alarming example of the NRA’s shady financial practices is its failure to disclose the large sums of donations made to the Christian organization Youth of Tomorrow, from 2013-2017. All charities are required by law to report the amount, nature, and recipients of its grants on annual tax filings. The Youth of Tomorrow is a charity that Wayne LaPierre’s wife, Susan LaPierre, is a board member of, and previous president, of the organization. These secret donations were made through event sponsorships, which non-profit experts and the IRS claims fall in line with regulatory problems, as charities are required to report “other forms of assistance,” if not direct donations.
By not choosing to disclose this info on how much they spent on event sponsorships, it raises a few red flags as to why they didn’t.
Perhaps the most significant revelation about the NRA’s business practices as of recent is that expressed by the NRA’s former managing director of tax and risk management, Emily Cummins. Her handwritten memos were obtained by spies, detailing the NRA’s huge expenses not disclosed on past tax filing’s and some business practices that left the organization vulnerable to fraud. One of her memos noted the fact that some NRA employees were told to process payments without documentation.
There were other records of several extraordinary payout arrangments made by the NRA to its top executives. LaPierre, for example, receives more than $1 million a year and has a lucrative payout arrangement of his own. Upon his retirement, LaPierre will receive compensation for his consulting services and personal appearances “at an annual rate that starts at his currently contracted final base salary and is later reduced.” Retired executive director Wayne Sheets is also an example of ridiculous payout contracts, which set out a “base monthly consulting fee” of $30,000 as he continued to serve as a fundraising consultant. To be paid regardless of the number of consulting hours provided, he also received $240,000 in “expense reimbursements” and recently got his contract extended through 2023.