Trinity Broadcasting suit could lead to license revocations


Paul and Jan Crouch / Trinity BroadcastingTelevangelists Paul and Jan Crouch, founders of the religious Trinity Broadcasting Network are under attack by their granddaughter Brittany Koper, who recently filed court papers that include allegations of $50 million in financial faux pas at the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network.

Her suit was followed by another from a Koper in-law. Allegations include opulent spending at the network on items such as private jets, mansions in California, Tennessee and Florida and a $100,000 mobile home for Jan Crouch’s dogs, said an AP article.

The lawsuits came after Koper’s husband was accused by a debt collection company of embezzling more than $1 million from TBN. The debt collection company that filed the lawsuit later added the Crouches’ granddaughter and two of her in-laws as defendants.

Attorneys from both sides say they have contacted police and the Internal Revenue Service.

TBN has 78 satellites and more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates and owns seven other networks, as well as its headquarters in Costa Mesa in Orange County, an estate outside Nashville called Trinity Music City, USA and the Holy Land Experience, a Christian amusement park in Orlando.

The lawsuit attention comes at a bad time for TBN, which has seen viewer donations drop steeply during this economic downturn. TBN raked in $92 million in donations in 2010 and cleared $175 million in tax-free revenue, but its net income plummeted from nearly $60 million in 2006 to a loss of $18 million in 2010, the most recent year available. Donations fell by nearly $30 million in the same period – a hit the network blames on the bad economy, reports the AP story.

At the same time, Koper’s father — the eldest Crouch son — resigned abruptly as vice president and chief-of-staff late last year. The unexplained departure of Paul Crouch Jr. roughly coincided with his daughter’s legal battle and came just months after he launched iTBN, a project to expand the network’s online and mobile reach.

Ministry watchdogs have long questioned how TBN — which declared more than $800 million in net assets in 2010 — spends that wealth. TBN files reports with the IRS, but the Crouches run nearly two dozen other organizations that are harder to track and they operate extensively overseas, said Rusty Leonard, who founded Wall Watchers, an organization that monitors the financial transparency of church ministries to which its members donate.

Trinity owns about 30 full-power TV stations, and dozens of low-power TV stations. Any type of finding of fraud by the company’s founders/directors could result in license revocation proceedings, or certainly a slew of license challenges. TBN is currently the third largest over-the-air television station group in the country. Stations include:


Poughkeepsie – New York, N.Y. WTBY

Santa Ana – Los Angeles, CA KTBN-TV

LaSalle – Chicago, IL WWTO

Burlington, N.J. – Philadelphia WGTW-TV

Irving – Dallas – Fort Worth, TX KDTX-TV

Monroe – Atlanta, GA WHSG-TV

Houston KETH-TV

Phoenix KPAZ-TV

Seattle – Tacoma KTBW-TV

Miami – Fort Lauderdale WHFT

Canton – Cleveland – Akron, OH WDLI

Cocoa – Orlando – Daytona Beach, FL WHLV-TV

Portland, Oregon KNMT-TV

Bloomington – Indianapolis, IN WCLJ

Hendersonville – Nashville, TN WPGD-TV

Newark – Columbus, OH WSFJ-TV

Richmond, IN – Cincinnati WKOI

Gadsden – Birmingham, AL WTJP

Albuquerque – Santa Fe KNAT-TV

Oklahoma City KTBO-TV

Holly Springs, MS – Memphis WBUY-TV

Mobile, AL – Pensacola, FL WMPV

Honolulu KAAH

Montgomery – Selma, AL WMCF-TV


  1. Social commentator and former alter-boy George Carlin sums it up, “Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more.”

  2. To Larry Linn and other George Carlin fans – please note that religion does need money – religion is what man created and it started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve when they used leaves to cover up. That took resources to start that cover up, and religion will always need resources. I challenge you to look beyond religion and actually look at Grace, God’s unmerited favor which is displayed throughout scripture. It’s pretty awesome!!!!! The Word of God rightly divided will expose religion and glorify God and the beauty of of His Son – Jesus Christ!

  3. man will always disappoint you but God will never let you down.

    Religion is for people who don’t know any better but a relationship with Jesus is priceless.

    Think about it ,would a man go die a brutal death on a cross for his own sake or did he do it because He was God in the flesh coming down as Jesus to do just that die but to die as a sacrifice for the world that if you would beleive it you could be saved fron hell. There for sure is a hereafter for all of us and we have to answer for our sins at some point whether we beleive or not.

    Heaven will be incredible but it is only for those who beleive now. Don’t be left out like so many will but go look up John 3:16 and ask the Lord to come into your life and He will and forgive your sins and give you a brand new exciting life filled with joy and grace. Peace Art!

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