National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre charged the group’s ad agency over $240,000 in expenses related to trips he took to Italy, Hungary, the Bahamas and other locations without providing any documentation, according to a letter from the ad agency obtained by The Wall Street Journal. Sources told the newspaper that LaPierre charged some of the expenses from trips to Budapest, Palm Beach, and Reno on ad firm Ackerman McQueen’s credit cards. The firm was subsequently reimbursed by the group over time, but Ackerman McQueen told NRA’s board in the letter that LaPierre failed to provide adequate documentation for all of his expenses. NRA attorney William Brewer told the newspaper that LaPierre’s trips were all work-related, and the payments were routed through the agency for “confidentiality and security purposes.” Group director Marion Hammer told the Journal the allegations were “part of the failed coup attempt.” LaPierre reportedly did not respond to requests for comment.
The NRA is in the middle of a lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen, alleging that the firm was unable to provide proper documentation for its bills to the group. In the lawsuit, the NRA also accused its former president—Oliver North—of financial double-dipping and not doing his contracted work for the group. Days after the suit was filed, Ackerman McQueen sent LaPierre a letter claiming his travel expenses charged to the firm came without documentation. North has since left the group, and the New York Attorney General announced it was probing the NRA for “potential financial and disclosure problems.”