TBN | In a lawsuit filed February 2012 Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) faces issues such as a $50 million jet through "a scam loan to a shill corporation" for the personal use of the Crouches; a $100,000 motor home purchased by Trinity as a mobile residence for Jan Crouch's dogs (one claimed by unrelated sources to have pink hair just like herself);"multiple residential estates" falsely reported as guest homes or church parsonages to avoid income disclosures; meal expenses of up to a half-million dollars per company director; "personal chauffeurs compensated with Trinity funds under the guise of medical payments;" and "multiple cover-ups of sexual scandals."
TBN | About the TBN Scandal
"TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) appears identicle in business practises to Daystar Television." Says Max Hardin, Houston, Texas based financial advisor in interview with myself, Trey Smith. (Trey Smith runs the God in a Nutshell project, blogs as Trey's Nutshell and also committed the safe robbery of TV pastor Mike Murdock in 1999. Thieves: One dirty TV pastor and the man who robbed him covers that safe robbery.)
"Both run 24-hour a day mindnumbing beg-a-thons for cash from what records show to be an audience of the poorest in our society," continues Hardin, "those on Social Security, small fixed incomes, mothers trying to make ends meet and still feed their children, the elderly... These are literally their targets -- people who are sacrificing basic needs for the month to help buy "secret" jet planes, mansion properties, more luxury cars than a rock star could dream of, etc... And that's just the surface stuff, you dig deeper and you might not like what you find. There is honest and there is dis-honest. Listen, Christian or no Christian, Bible or no Bible, these financial games are so far beyond wrong that it is sideways in extremely damaging ways that are costly to all of us -- damaging people's faith is the minimum of what they seem to effectively do. You want to talk about the Bible --- well --- the Bible appears to show that Jesus Himself particularly disliked the corruption of the Pharisees... In my opinion, these folks make the Pharisees look good."
McVeigh, uncle by marriage of Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper, accuses Trinity and its lawyers of malicious prosecution in connection with a loan he received through Trinity companies. Brittany Koper is the granddaughter who accused the world's largest Christian broadcaster of unlawfully distributing charitable assets worth more than $50 million to its principals -- and of firing her as its finance director, and beginning a campaign of "malicious retaliation" against her and her family (including McVeigh), for refusing to go along with the scheme.
McVeigh's suit says that Koper was promoted to finance director because Trinity wanted someone within the family who would keep its "financial 'skeletons' safely in the 'closet.'"
The suit alledges the "unlawful and unreported income distributions to Trinity Broadcasting's directors" including:
1) "Multiple jet aircraft, including a $50 million Global Express luxury jet aircraft purchased for the personal use of the Crouches through a sham loan to an alter ego corporation set up by the directors of Trinity Broadcasting in Florida, as well as an $8 million Hawker jet aircraft purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of director Janice Crouch;
2) "Multiple motor vehicles, including a $100,000 motor home purchased by Trinity Broadcasting as a mobile residence for director Janice Crouch's dogs; the latest Bentley recently purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for director Paul Crouch, Sr.; the most recent Denali purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for director Janice Crouch; a new Suburban recently purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for director Matthew Crouch; and numerous other vehicles;
3) "Multiple residential estates falsely reported as 'guest homes' or 'church parsonages' to avoid income disclosures, even though they are maintained by Trinity Broadcasting for Paul Crouch, Sr.'s personal use in Newport Beach, California; another mansion purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of Paul and Janice Crouch in Nashville, Tennessee; residential property purchased by Trinity Broadcasting Florida for the personal use of Paul and Janice Crouch in Miami, Florida; residential property purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of Paul and Janice Crouch in Irving, Texas; two homes purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of Matthew Crouch in Irving, Texas, although one of the homes is used by his sons; three more homes purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for Matthew Crouch's personal use in Costa Mesa, California (adjacent residential properties occupied by Matthew Crouch, his wife, and his two sons); a cabin in Lake Arrowhead, California purchased by Trinity Broadcasting and reserved solely for the personal use of Trinity Broadcasting board members; another mansion purchased by Trinity Broadcasting San Marcos for Janice Crouch's personal use in Newport Beach, California; and two more mansions next door to one anothcr that were purchased by Trinity Broadcasting Florida for the personal use of Paul Crouch, Sr. and Janice Crouch in Windermere, Florida.
4) "Multiple other perquisites, including meal expenses on the order of $300,000 to $500,000 per year for each director of Trinity Broadcasting; hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional credit card reimbursements for each director; personal chauffeurs compensated with Trinity Broadcasting funds under the guise of "medical payments"; fictitious 'rent' (and expenses) and other 'donations' paid to Paul and Janice Crouch for the fictitious use of a home owned by those directors in Newport Beach, California (even though the residence sits empty); and tens of thousands of dollars in 'redecorating' expenses paid each year for such items as stain removal in the Crouch mansions;
5) "Multiple backchannel distributions, kickbacks, and related schemes, such as tens of millions of dollars distributed through a company owned by TBN director Matthew Crouch, called Gener8xionEntertainment; a revocable trust account scheme by which Trinity Broadcasting's directors were paid returns above market rate on invested funds, with Trinity Broadcasting paying the difference as undisclosed distributions to the directors; fraudulent accounting schemes by which Trinity Broadcasting luxury assets (such as the $50 million jet aircraft used by Paul Crouch Sr.) are falsely held on the books of other corporations controlled by Trinity Broadcasting's same directors; falsely reporting income received and controlled by Trinity Broadcasting as income purportedly received and controlled by third-party corporations to avoid financial disclosures and adverse tax consequences; routine assignment of sham 'business purposes' to the use of Trinity Broadcasting's luxury assets (such as frequent vacations around the world on corporate jets); and fraudulent donation and kickback schemes involving third party 'ministries' and entities owned or controlled through Trinity Broadcasting's directors; and
6) "Multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals, including the cover-up and destruction of evidence concerning a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity Broadcasting and affiliated Holy Land Experience employees; the cover-up of director Janice Crouch's affair with a staff member at the Holy Land Experience; the cover-up of director Paul Crouch's use of Trinity Broadcasting funds to pay for a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford (a former TBN employee who said he had a homosexual affair with Paul Crouch); the cover-up following director Matthew Crouch's exposure of his genitals to cleaning staff on multiple occasions; under-the-table payments to avoid liability and punitive damages in the ongoing David Rhodes wrongful death suit, including payments funneled through All American TV, Inc., a nonprofit corporation controlled by Trinity Broadcasting's general counsel, John Casoria; falsification of records transmitted to the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California; and the list continues.
Trinity Christian Center is a nonprofit in the US, which means it doesn't pay taxes on its income. It reported revenue 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.
In my opinion (Trey Smith), the issue is not "How Much Money Someone Makes," it is the model of how they do business. How people chose to gain their income tells you everything about their character. There are some tremendous ministries and non-profits that take in great deals of money, helping countless lives... and then there are snakes in the mix.... maybe to keep us on our toes. The key is to know the difference.
The first question always is: Are they trying to benefit others, are they acting as would servants of God Himself, or are they willing to do anything (including use God's name) to benefit themselves? It's a scary moment when one finds they've been funding a dark snake pit -- but perhaps it's from the darkest things and hardest hours that we learn most? What do I know; I am just a guy that robbed a TV pastor. But if I were to guess, prosperity and purpose are not defined by the numbers in your bank account -- but how you live this journey of life. That choice I leave in your hands, where it always was.
Portions of the contents of this report are credited to: Orange County Register