We told you last week that the granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Paul and Jan Crouch has accused the world’s largest Christian broadcaster of unlawfully distributing charitable assets worth more than $50 million to the company’s directors.I was actually there the day they dedicated the new Tustin studios in 1973. My dad's quartet, The Watchmen, were invited to sing live on the air during the dedication broadcast. Back then Paul and Jan Crouch were partnered with Jim and Tammy Bakker. They later split up and the Bakkers moved east to start the PTL Network. We all know how that turned out.
The charges were leveled in a federal lawsuit filed by Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper (far left) against her former lawyers, who also do legal work for Trinity. One of those lawyers said her charges were “outright fiction and wholly without merit.”
On Thursday, Feb. 9 — the same day that our story ran online — Paul Crouch and his son, Matt, were having a live chat on TBN’s “Behind the Scenes.” Paul was reminiscing about how TBN began back in 1973 — God spoke to him as he was driving on MacArthur Boulevard — and the conversation took a turn that Koper’s attorney finds somewhat menacing.
“You know what’s funny Dad?” Matt said (at minute 8:38 on the video). “There have been a few attempts in the TBN history to upset TBN, to stop TBN, to — there have been a few fools in the 38, 39 year history, coming up on 40 years, and you know what, any attempt at stopping TBN — they have no idea who they’re actually pushing into the corner. You and Mom get pushed in a corner, God help you. That’s a lesson I’ve learned from you, seriously.”
Paul Crouch responded: “God help anyone who would try to get in the way of TBN, which was God’s plan. … I have attended the funerals of at least two people who tried…....
Trinity Christian Center, which does business as TBN, is a nonprofit in the eyes of Uncle Sam, which means it doesn’t pay taxes on its income. It reported revenues of $175.6 million, expenses of $193.7 million, and net assets of $827.6 million at the end of 2010, according to its tax returns. Its highest-paid officer was Paul Crouch, with compensation of $400,000.
Koper’s attorney, Tymothy MacLeod, said that Koper is readying documentation regarding her charges and will submit a package to the Internal Revenue Service for its review.
I've been in the current TBN headquarters in Costa Mesa and it would put the cheesiest Vegas lounge to shame - all mirrors, chrome and gold. A lot of little old ladies had to send in their Social Security checks to cover all that. This fight will likely get pretty ugly.