Judge dismisses NRA bankruptcy case amid guilty group – fr

Judge dismisses NRA bankruptcy case amid guilty group – fr

DALLAS (AP) – A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the National Rifle Association’s bankruptcy case, leaving the powerful gun rights group to face a lawsuit in New York state that accuses it of financial abuse and aims to bankrupt it.

The case revolved around whether the NRA should be allowed to incorporate in Texas instead of New York, where the state is suing in an attempt to dissolve the group. Although based in Virginia, the NRA was licensed as a nonprofit in New York City in 1871 and is incorporated in the state.

Judge Harlin Hale said in a written order that he dismissed the case because he found the bankruptcy was not filed in good faith.

“The Court finds that the NRA’s goal in declaring bankruptcy is less like a traditional bankruptcy case in which a debtor faces financial hardship or a judgment he cannot meet and more like cases in which the courts have concluded that a bankruptcy was filed to gain an unfair advantage in litigation or to avoid a regulatory scheme, ”Hale wrote.

His decision follows 11 days of testimony and arguments. Lawyers in New York and former NRA advertising agency burned group’s top executive, Wayne LaPierre, who admitted to bankrupting the NRA under Chapter 11 without his knowledge or consent most of its board members and other senior officers.

“Excluding so many people from the decision-making process to file for bankruptcy, including the vast majority of the board, the chief financial officer and the general counsel, is nothing short of shocking,” the judge added.

Phillip Journey, a member of the NRA board of directors and a Kansas judge who had sought to have an examiner appointed to investigate the group’s leadership, was concise about Hale’s judgment: “1 word, disappointed,” a- he wrote in a text message.

Lawyers for New York Attorney General Letitia James argued the case was an attempt by the NRA leadership to evade responsibility for using the group’s coffers as their personal piggy bank. But NRA lawyers said it was a legitimate effort to avoid a political attack from James, who is a Democrat.

LaPierre has testified that he has kept the bankruptcy largely a secret to avoid leaks from the group’s 76 members of the board, which is divided in its support for him.

The NRA declared bankruptcy in January, five months after James’ office was sued over its dissolution following allegations that executives illegally embezzled tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal travel, no-show contracts and other dubious expenses.

“The NRA cannot dictate whether and where it will answer for its actions, and our case will go to court in New York,” James tweeted after the ruin has been made. “No one is above the law. “

James is the head of law enforcement in New York City and has regulatory authority over nonprofit organizations incorporated in the state. She sued the NRA last August, claiming at the time that the “scale and depth of corruption and illegality” of the NRA justified its shutdown. James took similar steps to force the shutdown of former President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation after allegedly using it to advance business and political interests.

Shannon Watts, who founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in a series of tweets that the bankruptcy dismissal “comes at the worst possible time for the NRA: just as the background check is debated in the Senate .

“It will be difficult if not impossible for the NRA to effectively oppose gun safety and pressure lawmakers while simultaneously combating court battles and growing debt,” said Watts, whose organization is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, supported by Michael Bloomberg.


Sisak reported from New York.


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