NRA ex-CFO accepts 10-year New York nonprofit ban, still owes $2 million

NRA annual convention in Dallas

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former National Rifle Association Chief Financial Officer Wilson Phillips accepted a 10-year ban on managing money for New York nonprofits to resolve his portion of state Attorney General Letitia James' corruption case against the gun rights group.

The agreement disclosed on Tuesday came after a jury in February found Phillips, former NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and others liable for years of financial mismanagement, including by bankrolling LaPierre's extravagant lifestyle.

Jurors ordered LaPierre to repay $4.35 million to the group, and ordered Phillips to repay $2 million for his role in concealing LaPierre's spending.

Phillips' agreement leaves the $2 million payout intact, but means he will not participate in the trial's second phase, which is scheduled to begin on July 15.

Justice Joel Cohen of the state Supreme Court is expected to decide without a jury whether to impose additional measures against the NRA, LaPierre and defendant John Frazer, who recently stepped down as the group's general counsel.

James' proposed remedies include hiring a compliance monitor for the NRA, and banning LaPierre from associating with the group as a fiduciary.

"Today's agreement should serve as an example that my office will hold anyone, and everyone, involved in abusing their power or misappropriating funds accountable," James said in a statement.

Lawyers for Phillips did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Phillips, known as Woody, was also the NRA's treasurer. He retired in 2018. LaPierre resigned as NRA chief executive a few days before the trial began.

James sued the NRA in 2020, using her authority to oversee non-profits that are registered in the state.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris Reese)