The Wall Street Journal first reported that the National Rifle Association (NRA) wrote a check for $70,000 to a pop-up limited liability corporation (LLC) that was created by the NRA's former marketing firm, Ackerman McQueen, for the purposes of finding a new home for the gun lobby's CEO Wayne LaPierre.
But the NRA didn't just agree to pay the company, WBB Investments LLC, to find a home for LaPierre.
The Wall Street Journal now reports that the NRA conveniently agreed to buy a majority stake of the spinoff company from Ackerman McQueen for the low price of just $6.5 million which also happened to be the cost of LaPierre's prospective mansion.
A top National Rifle Association executive signed a document agreeing that the gun-rights organization would be 99% owner of a company formed to buy a $6 million Dallas mansion for NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, according to a copy of the document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The document also shows the NRA agreed to contribute $6.5 million to the company formed to buy the property, raising yet more questions about the NRA’s previous statements that none of the gun-rights group’s money was to be used to purchase the house for Mr. LaPierre. [...]
The newly revealed document reviewed by the Journal was dated at the time of WBB Investments’ formation in May 2018, and was signed by Wilson H. Phillips Jr., the NRA’s then-chief financial officer and treasurer. In it, he agreed that the NRA would contribute $6.5 million for 99% ownership of WBB Investments, while an Ackerman entity would contribute $10 for 1% ownership.
It's still not clear why this scheme to buy a house for LaPierre was ultimately canceled after going through all the trouble of creating a new legal entity to secretly launder the money for it.
Maybe someone close to LaPierre alerted him that money laundering and racketeering is illegal. Maybe Ackerman McQueen returned the money after their own legal counsel got a look at the deal. Maybe the gun lobby recognized that this level of self-dealing -- buying a mansion for their CEO -- could result in the loss of their tax-exempt status.
This feels like the tip of iceberg of the river of dirty money flowing to and from the NRA. Who knows what other schemes LaPierre has been involved in that haven't been revealed yet?
The almost religious-like devotion of guns fetishists appears to have gone to LaPierre's head as he conducts himself like a high-ranking bishop of the Vatican or a wealthy pastor living a life of luxury on the backs of his congregation.
There's little difference between the National Rifle Association and a megachurch.