A longtime assistant to National Rifle Association executive Wayne LaPierre diverted tens of thousands of dollars from the organization to pay for a family wedding, according to testimony at the group’s bankruptcy trial Tuesday.
NRA general counsel John Frazer said Millie Hallow used more than $40,000 to pay for her son’s wedding and other personal expenses. While under questioning from lawyers representing New York attorney general Letitia James (D.), Frazer said Hallow was forced to repay the money in 2019.
“A demand for repayment was made,” Frazer said. “And it was repaid with interest.”
Frazer said Hallow remains employed by the gun-rights group. He did not know whether she was disciplined for the incident.
“I don’t know what discussion may have occurred between her and her management,” Frazer said.
This is not the first time Hallow’s spending habits have attracted legal scrutiny. Hallow pled guilty under her maiden name to a felony theft charge in 1984 for stealing $23,691 from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities while she served as executive director. She was accused of writing checks from the commission to fake people and keeping the money for herself.
James has argued throughout the bankruptcy trial that NRA leadership is using the federal bankruptcy to avoid prosecution in New York for financial impropriety. NRA lawyers have countered that the bankruptcy, as well as a relocation to Texas, will allow the group to escape political persecution from James and other anti-gun officials in New York. Lawyers for the advocacy group have been frank about the group’s past mishandling of money, but insists it has instituted safeguards to ensure dues are spent appropriately.
“No one was spared review in the entire organization, including Mr. LaPierre,” NRA lawyer Greg Garman said in his opening statement on Monday. “We set out to put our own house in order, which we did.”
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment on Hallow’s diversion of NRA funds. but Garman said during his opening statement he expected trial proceedings to reveal “cringe-worthy” expenses.
“Are there going to be facts that are moderately cringe-worthy? The answer to that is yes,” he said. “We’re not going to run for them.”
The bankruptcy trial will enter its third day on Wednesday morning.
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