The National Rifle Association quietly paid over half a million dollars to celebrity board members Tom Selleck and Ted Nugent — deals that were not approved by its board until a year later, according to a report.
The big-money deals were discovered in the board minutes for the gun group, which is already being investigated over its financial dealings by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Magnum, P.I.” star Selleck, 74, was paid $476,000 for 17 “collectible firearms” in 2018 — a sale only retroactively agreed to at least a year later in April this year, according to the paper.
The actor, a member of the NRA board since 2015, resigned shortly after the deal, blaming his busy schedule, according to the report.
Rocker Nugent, meanwhile, was paid at least $120,000 over two years for the nonprofit gun group to advertise on his cable TV hunting program, “Spirit of the Wild TV,” the paper says, citing minutes of NRA board meetings.
The 70-year-old rocker — still a prominent member of the group’s board — was also paid $62,150 in 2017 to autograph guitars to be sold at NRA events, with a similar deal authorized this year, the Journal says.
The NRA confirmed some of the Nugent transactions were not reported in the group’s tax filings, according to the WSJ.
Selleck’s attorney defended his gun sale, insisting the star made “negligible” profits, if any. The deal was “properly documented, and as far as Mr. Selleck was aware, approved by the board,” he told the paper.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam insisted that Nugent was not responsible for failed disclosures of his transactions, which he appropriately reported to the board. He insisted they will be reported in a 2018 NRA tax filing, which isn’t yet public.
Neither Nugent nor his publicist commented on the report.
“The NRA is committed to good governance,” said William A. Brewer III, an NRA outside attorney, who said the organization follows its conflict-of-interest policy with transactions involving directors. Any such arrangements, he told the paper, “are meant to maximize the effective use of association resources and to further the organization’s mission.”
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