Prosecutor Letitia James gets her way: The National Rifle Association and its former leader Wayne LaPierre are found responsible for squandering funds

The jury ordered the historic former head of the NRA to pay $4.3 million in restitution.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its historic former leader, Wayne LaPierre, were found responsible for wasting millions of dollars in excessive spending in a lawsuit brought by prosecutor Letitia James, a Democrat who campaigned to investigate the nonprofit’s status.

The outcome of the trial is the latest blow suffered by the NRA, an organization with great political power in the conservative world that, in recent years, has fallen into financial trouble as its membership has fallen drastically.

LaPierre, the face of the organization in recent years, resigned from his position on the eve of the trial and was ultimately ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution.

In particular, the historic head of the NRA was singled out by prosecutors for billing the NRA more than $11 million for private jet flights and spending more than $500,000 on eight trips to the Bahamas over a three-year period.

“He also authorized $135 million in NRA contracts for a vendor whose owners showered him with free trips to the Bahamas, Greece, Dubai and India, as well as access to a 108-foot (33-meter) yacht,” PBS reported.

The NRA’s general counsel, John Frazer, and its former chief financial officer, Wilson Phillips, were charged in the case brought by James.

The Democratic prosecutor, who also led another civil fraud case against former President Donald Trump, wants the three men to be banned from holding leadership positions in any nonprofit organization that operates in New York. However, this decision corresponds to a judge in the next phase of the trial, which will be disputed in the state Supreme Court.

Despite all this, the NRA was portrayed in the case as a defendant that did not have the necessary internal controls to avoid improper expenses and as a victim of that situation. Initially, in 2020, Prosecutor James attempted to dissolve the entire organization, but Manhattan Judge Joel M. Cohen ruled in 2022 that the accusations did not justify the corporate demise of the historic conservative organization, whose impact on the Republican Party remains notable and undoubted.