According to files compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the founder of the world's largest Christian television network financed his endeavor with the assistance of numerous international criminal organizations.
Documents obtained by MuckRock show that the FBI was investigating Trinity Broadcasting Network and its founder, Paul Crouch, for being in communication with the infamous Bronx mafia figure, Vincent Gigante, with regards to a "narcotics transfer of funds," which is how the FBI classifies money-laundering.
In another document, Crouch is listed alongside Reverend Earl Paulk and Oral Roberts as "anti-Semitic white supremacists [who] were supposedly receiving funds from the [Palestinian Liberation Organization] to 'run guns'" via an "Islamic Education Center" in Baltimore, Maryland. Both of these investigations were tagged as relating to "financial flow" involving narcotics.
Crouch and the Tustin, California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network he founded have come under fire in the past for "the prosperity gospel" that is preached on the network, which promises immediate material rewards to viewers who donate generously.
In 2010, the network was sued by the founder's granddaughter, Brittany Koper, and another relative, Joseph McVeigh, who claimed that Paul Crouch and his wife Janice were using donations to finance their extravagant lifestyle. They accused Crouch of using money acquired during "Praise-a-thons" to purchase "sham loans," which were then used to finance "an $8m Hawker jet aircraft purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of director Janice Crouch" and "multiple motor vehicles, including a $100,000 motor home purchased by Trinity Broadcasting as a mobile residence for director Janice Crouch’s dogs."
The FBI file on Paul Crouch was released after his death in 2013.
[Headshot of Paul Crouch via TBN official homepage]