July 20, 2024

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NRA ex-finance chief who approved Wayne LaPierre’s jet-set spending must pay millions in damages

2 min read

The National Rifle Association’s former finance czar, Wilson “Woody” Phillips, has been banned for a decade from managing money for any nonprofit company in New York, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday.

Phillips agreed to the ban in May, three months after a jury found him liable in a scheme to have the influential gun rights organization bankroll the extravagant lifestyle of the NRA’s longtime chief executive, Wayne LaPierre. Details of the settlement were not made public until Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Phillips is banned for 10 years from serving as a fiduciary of a not-for-profit organization in New York and must receive training before returning to any such position. He is still on the hook for $2 million in damages to the NRA for his role in concealing and enabling LaPierre’s lavish spending on things like exotic getaways and trips on private planes and superyachts.

The settlement means that Phillips, now retired, won’t have to participate in next week’s second phase of a trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil lawsuit against the NRA and former top executives.

Manhattan Judge Joel Cohen is to decide remaining issues in the case beginning July 15, including whether former LaPierre and ex-general counsel John Frazer should be barred from charitable organizations in the state.

Among other things, Phillips was accused of approving invoices for LaPierre’s private jet flights to the Bahamas; facilitating payments to contractors owned by LaPierre’s friends; and allowing an arrangement through which the NRA paid back its longtime advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen, for travel, makeup and other expenses it covered for LaPierre and his wife.

“For decades, Wilson Phillips oversaw and allowed financial mismanagement and corruption at the NRA, and that is why the jury found him, the NRA, and his co-defendants, senior executives Wayne LaPierre and John Frazer, liable for their misconduct,”…

Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press

2024-07-09 19:36:22

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