Independent Auditing

Battleswarm Blog thinks:

The fact that the New Yorker is hostile to gun rights and the NRA shouldn’t blind us to the fact that there are very real financial oversight issues that need to be addressed, and the NRA audit committee isn’t far enough away from those problems to address them. The NRA board should bring an outside audit team from one of the big five accounting forms with expertise in nonprofits to do a full, forensic audit of NRA finances going back at least five years.

I would endorse that idea. I’d be wary of anyone in any kind of non-profit that balked at the idea of an independent auditor. But just because its sensible doesn’t mean it will happen. I’ve seen a lot of sensible things fall by the wayside in a non-profit and we don’t have to deal with paid staff who also have opinions, and have a lot more time and incentive to manipulate things to come out in their favor. I’m not holding my breath. Even if it does happen, it’ll probably be kept internal.

15 thoughts on “Independent Auditing”

  1. Actually doing an internal audit would be a wise strategic move to cut the knees out of the NY AG investigation. And its also a smart management move.

    1. Audit documents can be subpoenaed by the New York State Attorney General. It would actually help with the investigation. That would be also the purpose of such an audit. This is also the reason why such an audit isn’t going to happen. Why would the NRA leadership agree to an audit that can find wrongdoing by the NRA leadership?

      The only way an audit would get a go ahead is if there is serious wrongdoing uncovered and certain members of the NRA leadership were removed from office. Only then, an audit for the purpose of house cleaning actually makes sense.

        1. Right, because the government would never send goons to raid the offices of an attorney of a troublesome conservative.

          1. The issue here is about attorney–client privilege and what could be used in court against the organization. The reason why I stated “probably” is that the attorney would need to be an outside entity not involved with the organization. Otherwise, the attorney can be easily become the target of the investigation through prior affiliation with the organization.

            1. Attorney-client privilege doesn’t mean much once the government raids your attorney’s office. They might not be able to directly use the documents obtained, however, once they know all there is to know it’s not too hard to go out and “independently” find evidence from non-privileged sources.

              1. If your attorney who just had his office raided isn’t already in front of a judge demanding a protection order prohibiting government agents from retaining, copying, or reviewing privileged materials, then your attorney is an idiot guilty of professional malpractice, and you have bigger problems.

                Assuming that we’re still talking about the results of a financial audit overseen by outside counsel and not just indulging generalized paranoia, what independent evidence do you imagine authorities could uncover?

      1. Who cares is the audit is subpoenaed. The Atty General is going to audit them anyway. Better to know what yourbfacing before your facing it. And have the opportunity to correct it before the correction is forced on you. It also undermines the AGs ability to bring the most egregious penalties down on them.

  2. Something for sure but my background is finance and audits seldom find problems. Perhaps the key word is forensic but I would want to see the scope of work. It would probably be good PR but fixing management problems, if they exist, is tougher.

  3. “I’d be wary of anyone in any kind of non-profit that balked at the idea of an independent auditor.”

    The problem is, everyone is “independent” if you ask them, just like all non-profits are “non-partisan” if you ask them.

    Since the boundaries between business and government became blurred years ago, the paths of influence can be hard to follow, and are readily deniable if they are detected.

  4. Recently leaked NRA-internal communication details $100,000/day in legal fees by Bill Brewer, Wayne’s two-week Christmas travel to the Bahamas paid by Ackerman McQueen, $13,000 rent paid by Ackerman McQueen for Wayne’s summer intern (Megan Allen), chartered flights, cars/drivers and extravagant hotels/resorts in the US and Europe paid by Ackerman McQueen for Wayne, and $20,000/year in clothing purchases at a Zenga store in Beverly Hills paid by Ackerman McQueen for Wayne.

    The NRA Board of Directors and its officers have, so far, refused to publicly deal with this mess. Everything is kept confidential. This looks to me like a cover up by a corrupt organization. I wonder how much the full Board actually knows about this and when they will decide that they can’t do anything about this and it is time to resign.

    When discussing the option for an independent audit, aren’t we just discussing replacing Helium for Hydrogen when the Hindenburg is already burning? Why would the NRA officers and Board members loyal to LaPierre ever agree to an independent audit, if it uncovers LaPierre’s and possibly their own criminal activity?

    I know that there are a few good people left on the Board. It is way past time for them to force the corrupt leadership to resign or to resign themselves. The NRA and its fund raising has become a farce and the organization is clearly busy with infighting between different corrupt factions (while draining the remaining funds).

    At this point, why would and why should anyone pay their member dues or donate to the organization, knowing that the money will disappear in the pockets of a few?

    PS: If Wayne LaPierre did not list his expenses for the Christmas vacation to the Bahamas paid by Ackerman McQueen on his tax return and if Ackerman McQueen did not withheld taxes, both could be on the hook for tax fraud. The same goes for other expenses paid if they can’t establish/document their business purpose.


    TTAG: NRA Documents Reveal Brewer Law Firm Spending, LaPierre Expense Details


  5. Whole bunch of stuff over at John Richardson’s place. Think this is the WSJ stuff but it is out from behind the paywall. The expense stuff looks fairly routine for a high end swamp creature, if tacky. AckMac says it was to keep his expenses out of the public eye which again is common.

    I can’t come up with any plausible explanation for the legal expenses though. It is like they are trying to strip the assets out of the NRA. Could it be an attempt to preempt New York from seizing them.

    1. While my other comment is still awaiting moderation, for some reason, the “expense stuff” is nowhere near routine and potentially criminal.

      To be clear, if Ackerman McQueen paid for Wayne LaPierre’s two-week Christmas vacation to the Bahamas and neither party did declare this as Wayne LaPierre’s income, that alone is federal tax fraud! There is a reason why companies keep track and archive business-related expenses paid directly or reimbursed to employees.

      There is also simply just the issue of managing funds that come from membership dues and donors for a supposed nonprofit. Why should any NRA member or firearms industry donor continue to fund this type of lavish spending? $20,000/year in clothing purchases at a Zenga store in Beverly Hills? Chartered flights, cars/drivers and extravagant hotels/resorts in the US and Europe? $13,000 in rent ($4,500/month) for a “well-connected” summer intern?

  6. The auditing thing is only symptomatic of the problem. The root problem is that the NRA for too many years of recent has become like an organization that researches a cure for a disease and gets paid for that instead of actually curing it. Fix that first and foremost.

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