The National Rifle Association arranged Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre’s expensive travel arrangements through an unregistered travel agent who was paid by both the nonprofit and its former ad firm, Ackerman McQueen. According to The Wall Street Journal, NRA accountants were instructed to pay travel bills, which totaled about $2 million in one recent year, to Gayle Stanford. The 76-year-old had reportedly made travel arrangements for former NRA president Charlton Heston and soon began doing the same for LaPierre. Stanford reportedly billed the NRA directly but was also put on a $4,000 retainer paid by Ackerman McQueen. The ad firm claimed LaPierre ordered the payment arrangement for Stanford. Ackerman McQueen said it used Stanford for some of its own travel arrangements at the NRA’s direction until it determined that her “high commissions were not warranted.” While Stanford was being paid by the NRA, a 2009 lawsuit by the Texas attorney general alleged that she was defrauding small business owners. Stanford and the NRA have not commented publicly on the matter. The report comes as the NRA and Ackerman McQueen are embroiled in a legal fight, with the ad firm alleging spending abuses in the gun rights group. The NRA, meanwhile, claims Ackerman McQueen over-billed it.
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