Trouble at TBN

Problems within the Crouch clan, the family that controls the Christian broadcasting company Trinity Broadcasting Network. According to The Orange County Register:

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.

The charges are leveled in a federal lawsuit filed by Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper last week against her former lawyers, who also do legal work for TBN.

Paul and Jan Crouch have always struck me as a more successful version of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the PTL Club. But Jim and Tammy’s son Jay went on to reject his parents’ lifestyle and politics, and maybe that is the same thing we’re seeing here. Certainly the Crouch family have matched the Bakker family in terms of conspicuous consumption:

“Observers have often wondered how the Crouches can afford multiple mansions on both coasts, a $50 million jet and chauffeurs,” said Tymothy MacLeod, Koper’s attorney. “And finally, with the CFO coming forward, we have answers to those questions.”[…]

Trinity Christian Center, a nonprofit in the eyes of Uncle Sam, does not have to 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.

Its officers, directors and key employees included Paul and Jan Crouch, Paul Crouch Jr., Matthew Crouch, Koper and her husband, among others, according to Trinity’s most recent tax returns. It has offices in Tustin and a studio in Costa Mesa.

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