WSJ: IRS Investigating NRA’s Wayne LaPierre For Possible Tax Fraud
Longtime National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for possible criminal tax fraud relating to his personal taxes, sources familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James charged LaPierre in a civil suit with raking in millions in allegedly undisclosed compensation from the NRA and vendors, including free yacht trips, private jet flights for his family, and exotic safaris.
The AG lawsuit claimed the NRA’s failure to include certain personal benefits in Mr. LaPierre’s W-2 annual-compensation forms "permitted him to file false personal tax returns with the IRS."
To show criminal behavior, tax specialists said, the IRS would have to demonstrate that a taxpayer willfully underreported income, typically over multiple years.
- Reports of LaPierre’s lavish expenses first surfaced in 2019, highlighting that he charged more than $540,000 in clothing at a Beverly Hills, California, boutique and took luxury trips to Europe and the Bahamas.
Once in the Bahamas, Mr. LaPierre allegedly stayed in a hotel paid for by a Hollywood producer who is a large NRA vendor, or aboard the producer’s 108-foot yacht.
- LaPierre failed to mention the yacht trips on annual ethics forms that required him to disclose gifts worth more than $250 from NRA vendors, per the complaint.
- Lapierre said he considered the yacht to have been used for legitimate business, including “discussions between his wife and a niece about the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum—a group both were involved with, according to the attorney general’s complaint," according to the report.
- The Journal noted that it is unclear how far along the investigation is and also that it could end with no charges filed.