Matthew Crouch

Lawsuit Accuses Televangelist Giant Of Threatening Whistleblowers, Funneling Millions To Personal Accounts

The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is facing a lawsuit from its founder’s granddaughter, who claimed in a court filing last week that she and her husband were threatened for trying to expose a major financial scandal at the televangelist network.

The granddaughter has previously alleged that TBN was engaged in “multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals” and has threatened whistleblowers. Paul Crouch, the network’s late founder, once bragged on air that God will kill whoever stands up against TBN.

She also claims that TBN intimidated whistleblowers, including herself. The suit describes one incident in which Matthew Crouch, a TBN host and vice president, allegedly “began tapping the firearm he had brought to [a] meeting and asked Plaintiff Brittany Koper what she thought would happen when she wrote a memo to the board critical of Defendant Matthew Crouch’s financial improprieties. Defendant Matthew Crouch continued tapping the gun he was holding to ensure that Plaintiff Brittany Koper recognized the lethal threat being made.”

Defendant Trinity Broadcasting purports to be the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network. Defendant Christian Broadcasting is a nonprofit corporation that was formed by Defendant John Casoria and Paul F. Crouch, Sr. as a tax shelter for Paul F. Crouch, Sr.’s “personal money.”



Paul Crouch Sr., Defendant Janice Crouch, and Defendant Matthew Crouch maintained control over Defendant Trinity Broadcasting through exclusive and perpetual control of Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s board of directors. Pursuant to Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s articles and bylaws, Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s board of directors is chosen solely by Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s “members.” Circularly, though, Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s “members” are defined as and limited to Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s board of directors. The Crouches thereby elect themselves directors and maintain exclusive, perpetual control over Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s affairs as the company’s only members/directors.

...

Defendant John Casoria is Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s Assistant Secretary and General Counsel. He is also Defendant Janice Crouch’s nephew and is thereby Plaintiff Brittany Koper’s first cousin once removed. Plaintiffs are informed, believe, and based thereon allege that Defendant John Casoria is the director and seniormanager of Redemption Strategies, and that this company was formed for the sole purpose of maliciously prosecuting, harassing, and intimidating Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper (as well as members of Plaintiff Michael Koper’s family) in retaliation after the Kopers reported illegal conduct within Defendant Trinity Broadcasting, including unlawful distributions to Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s members and directors on the order of $100 million.

...

Plaintiff Brittany Koper learned through specific instructions from Defendant Trinity Broadcasting, Defendant Jan Crouch, Defendant Matthew Crouch, and Defendant John Casoria that the requirements of Plaintiff Brittany Koper’s new job included active participation in numerous illegal schemes that were disclosed to Plaintiff Brittany Koper following her promotion.

The nature of these illegal activities involved the systematic diversion ofDefendant Trinity Broadcasting’s charitable assets through unlawful distributions to Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s directors through numerous channels. The magnitude of these unlawful and related financial schemes uncovered by or disclosed to Plaintiff Brittany Koper is on the order of $100 million.

Plaintiff Brittany Koper and Plaintiff Michael Koper were terminated by Defendant Trinity Broadcasting because they refused to participate in the unlawful activities demanded by Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s directors and senior executive Defendant John Casoria, and for making reports of those unlawful activities.

Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper were specifically threatened and intimidated by Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s directors and senior executive Defendant John Casoria when Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper stated that these issues needed to be resolved and properly reported to state and federal officials. Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper were told by Defendant Janice Crouch, Defendant Matthew Crouch, and Defendant John Casoria that they would have Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper “arrested” and “prosecuted” if they tried to report Defendant Trinity Broadcasting or its directors for financial improprieties. Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper were advised by Defendant John Casoria that they, too, had broken the same laws and that they were “prohibited” as “accomplices” from reporting alleged crimes outside the company. Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper were told that they were required to go through Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s attorneys, only, if they had concerns. And,

Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper were told that Defendant Trinity Broadcasting would have them arrested for “theft” if they took any documents to prosecutors. Defendant John Casoria also told the Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper that they were bound by confidentiality agreements that prohibited them from reporting any illegal activities, and they were threatened with civil lawsuits.

On or about September 1, 2011, Paul Crouch, Sr. suffered congestive heart failure and was hospitalized. Defendant Janice Crouch and Defendant Matthew Crouch kept Paul Crouch, Sr. isolated from the rest of his family during this time and, in particular, Paul Crouch, Jr., Plaintiff Brittany Koper, and Plaintiff Michael Koper. It was during this isolation that Defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s board of directors announced that Plaintiff Michael Koper, Plaintiff Brittany Koper, and her father Paul Crouch, Jr. were all fired. When questioned about the termination, Defendant Matthew Crouch began tapping the firearm he had brought to the meeting and asked Plaintiff Brittany Koper what she thought would happen when she wrote a memo to the board critical of Defendant Matthew Crouch’s financial improprieties. Defendant Matthew Crouch continued tapping the gun he was holding to ensure that Plaintiff Brittany Koper recognized the lethal threat being made.

On January 29, 2014 Plaintiff Michael Koper and Plaintiff Brittany Koper discovered, for the first time, that multiple confidential communications they had with Paul Crouch, Sr., Defendant Matthew Crouch, and/or Defendant John Casoria were recorded by Defendants using an electronic recording device, and that these recordings had subsequently been edited and manipulated by Defendants. Defendants then disclosed and intentionally used these intercepted communications on multiple occasions.

TBN Lawsuit Alleges Cover-Up of Sexual and Criminal Scandals – Paul, Jan and Matt Crouch Implicated

A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court against televangelism powerhouse TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) threatens to blow the lid off alleged misconduct and criminal activity at the very highest levels of the organization. TBN, which advertises itself as the “World’s Largest Christian Network,” is home to such luminaries as Rod Parsley, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, James Robison and the larger-than-life founders of the network – Paul and Jan Crouch, and their son Matt – who are a constant presence in front of the camera.


 
The Crouches have invited criticism and scorn in the past with their lavish lifestyle and flamboyant appearance, but the new lawsuit paints a portrait of a thoroughly corrupt organization. The suit centers on Paul Crouch’s granddaughter Brittany Koper, a former executive at TBN who was fired after she blew the whistle on alleged fraudulent and criminal activities. She claims that she subsequently faced massive retaliation, including threats of “physical and lethal violence.”
 
The Los Angeles Times provided an overview of the case on Friday and focused on alleged self-dealing by the Crouches:
The lawsuit alleges that Paul Crouch Sr. obtained a $50-million Global Express luxury jet for his personal use through a "sham loan," and that TBN funds paid for a $100,000 motor home for dogs owned by his wife, Janice Crouch, a network director.
 
The suit also alleges that TBN bought residences across the country for its directors under the pretext that they were "guest homes" or "church parsonages." The properties include mansions used by the Crouch family in Newport Beach; side-by-side mansions in Windermere, Fla.; and homes in Nashville; Miami; and Irving, Texas, according to the suit.
While the $100k dog motor home is a pretty irresistible story (Seamus Romney must be so jealous!), the Times glossed over other portions of the suit that sound more like The Sopranos than Elmer Gantry. For instance, a section entitled “Multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals” accuses TBN, among other things, of covering up a “bloody sexual assault,” infidelities by Paul and Jan Crouch, and repeated incidents in which Matt Crouch exposed his genitals to cleaning staff.
 
I've included that section below, which mentions a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford. As previously reported, Ford, a TBN employee, was paid $425,000 to not discuss his alleged sexual encounters with Paul Crouch.
 
 
When Koper refused to play along, she wasn’t just sidelined within TBN. She allegedly faced threats of “physical and lethal violence” by Matt Crouch, and was told by Paul Crouch that Jan and Matt “want your heads” – referring to Koper and her husband, also a former TBN executive:
 
 
TBN issued a press release this morning in response to recent media coverage. Rather than address the substance of the suit, TBN’s lawyer and attorney Colby May portrayed the Kopers as disgruntled former employees who stole from the network to enrich themselves:
"The soundness and veracity of these stories are completely undermined when you realize that they depend almost exclusively upon accusations from individuals who admitted they had embezzled and misappropriated over $1 million from the network, and its companion ministry, International Christian Broadcasting," May explained. […]
 
"What the bulk of media stories don't explain is that these individuals used lawsuits to contrive absurd allegations that trusted TBN officials had illegally funneled millions of dollars for their own use," said May. "Add to that the fabrications that Dr. and Mrs. Crouch were using ministry funds to buy jewelry, jets, mansions, and mobile homes for dogs, and you have all the ammunition for a stereotypical attack against an esteemed media ministry."
We’ll be eagerly watching this case as it plays out. Koper has made explosive accusations against TBN and the Crouches, and the Kopers, as longtime insiders at TBN, are uniquely positioned to marshal evidence to back up their claims.
 
Click here to read the entire complaint against TBN.
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Matthew Crouch Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/04/2015, 4:25pm
The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is facing a lawsuit from its founder’s granddaughter, who claimed in a court filing last week that she and her husband were threatened for trying to expose a major financial scandal at the televangelist network. The granddaughter has previously alleged that TBN was engaged in “multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals” and has threatened whistleblowers. Paul Crouch, the network’s late founder, once bragged on air that God will kill whoever stands up against TBN. She also claims that TBN intimidated whistleblowers,... MORE >
Josh Glasstetter, Tuesday 03/27/2012, 11:05am
A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court against televangelism powerhouse TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) threatens to blow the lid off alleged misconduct and criminal activity at the very highest levels of the organization. TBN, which advertises itself as the “World’s Largest Christian Network,” is home to such luminaries as Rod Parsley, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, James Robison and the larger-than-life founders of the network – Paul and Jan Crouch, and their son Matt – who are a constant presence in front of the camera.   The... MORE >