A major donor of the National Rifle Association is set to challenge key aspects of the gun group’s bankruptcy filing, in which officials allegedly defraud their members of millions of dollars to support their own lavish lifestyles Has been attributed to.
Dera del Aquila, a former tech company owner who has donated more than $ 100,000 to the NRA, told the Guardian on Saturday that he was preparing to file a complaint in US bankruptcy court in Dallas, Texas. If successful, it may prevent NRA officials from discharging a large portion of the organization’s debt.
It could also deter the NRA’s controversial long-time chief executive Wayne LaPierre, who, while avoiding ongoing lawsuits, accuses members of the pro-gun group for luxury travel to the Bahamas and Europe and high-end Zegna suits paid to.
LaPierre, in a letter to members of the NRA, asserted that the group was “well governed, financially solvent and committed to good governance”, denying allegations of financial indecency.
It is likely to happen within the next few weeks. The law stipulates that debts accrued through a malfunction can be construed by the court as an exception to the bankruptcy arrangement.
Speaking from his home in Nashville, Tennessee, Dale Aquila said: “We intend to implement this provision. We are going to ask the judge to determine that our claim resulted from fraud and should be considered non-discretionary. “
The NRA declared bankruptcy in Dallas court on Friday. The organization also said that it would relocate from New York, where it was established in 1871, to Texas.
Following the filing of Chapter 11, LaPierre admitted that the move was designed to expel the NRA from lawsuits, threatening its existence. In August, New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, sued the NRA in an effort to shut it down, alleging that its leaders used it as a “personal piggy bank” and that $ 64m was illegally for their own use. Did divert from
Lapier claims that the civil lawsuit was politically motivated. On Friday, he said filing bankruptcy and relocating to Texas was one way to dump New York. NRA is reborn in a state that values NRA’s contribution. “
Dell’Aquila told the Guardian that the move was predictable.
“I think they did all this with planning,” he said. “It was always an ace they were going to play. It is just sad that the NRA is wasting millions of dollars in lawyers ‘fees and members’ money in this type of litigation. it’s embarrassing. “
A year before the New York legal action, DelAquila brought its own class-action lawsuit against NRA officials on behalf of the organization’s 5.2 million members. In that suit, he said how he donated $ 100,000, thinking it would go towards wildlife conservation and Second Amendment advocacy work.
Drawing on details uncovered by Oliver North, the former president of the NRA, Dale Aquila alleged that “LaPierre had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in clothing, private jet travel and other benefits.”
Suit points for $ 243,644 spent on luxury travel in the Bahamas, Palm Beach and Italy and $ 274,695 are scattered at clothing stores in Beverly Hills.
The NRA tried to dismiss the civil suit, arguing that Del Aquila did not stand to take action. But the judge allowed the case to proceed in Dan’s solicitation on behalf of NRA leaders regarding individual claims of fraud.
In November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NRA received at least $ 1.4m in unfair or excessive benefits to current and former officials. This was revealed in the tax filing.
Del’Aquila’s lawsuit has been put on hold pending the outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings. He hopes that by filing his new complaint, he will be able to keep at least $ 64m out of the bankruptcy agreement allegedly in a New York lawsuit, and set fire to the feet of LaPierre and other officials Will continue
“Nothing has changed with Wayne in the last 30 years,” he said. “The NRA is still an old boys’ club, which deals in the back room and is unacceptable for the 5.2 million members who pay everything. It has stopped. “
The Attorney General of New York has also vowed to keep NRA leaders from fighting to avoid the legal consequences of their actions.
James said, “We will not allow the NRA to use this or any other strategy after the declaration of bankruptcy.