Brittany Koper

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.

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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.

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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.

New TBN Lawsuit Alleges Rape Cover-Up

Back in April we reported on a suit filed against TBN – the right-wing televangelism powerhouse based in Orange County, California – by Brittany Koper, a granddaughter of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch and a former senior executive at the organization. The suit alleged “multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals,” including a cover-up of a “bloody sexual assault.” A new suit, filed last week by Koper’s 19-year-old sister Carra Crouch, sheds signficant light on the allegation. 

Teri Sforza, who has closely covered TBN’s legal woes for the Orange County Register, broke the news about the suit:
A granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network founders Jan and Paul Crouch filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that she was plied with alcohol and raped by a TBN employee when she was just 13 — and that her family covered up the incident, rather than report it to authorities, to protect TBN’s reputation.
 
Carra Crouch, now 19, was distraught after the 2006 assault by a 30-year-old man, and told her grandmother what had happened. “Jan (Crouch) became furious and began screaming at Ms. Crouch, a thirteen year old girl, and began telling her ‘it is your fault,’” according to the suit.
 
Carra Crouch then told John Casoria, TBN’s in-house counsel and her second cousin; he became agitated and told her that he didn’t believe her, it says. “He elaborated by stating he further believed she was already sexually active ‘so it did not really matter’ and he ‘believed she may have propositioned him,’ ” the suit alleges.
According to the suit, both Jan Crouch and Casoria are ordained ministers and therefore legally required to report such an incident. They allegedly failed to report the rape and prevented Carra Crouch from speaking with the police, a counselor, or any other third party.
 
In 2006, Carra Crouch traveled with her grandmother Jan to TBN’s spring telethon in Atlanta, where she was given her own hotel room. As Sforza reported:
The 30-year-old TBN employee, who Crouch had known for years, wound up in her room and ordered a bottle of wine from room service on Trinity’s account (“Trinity Broadcasting makes a regular practice of providing alcohol to its employees during business meetings”), the suit alleges. He coerced her to drink it “in an attempt to get her intoxicated,” and she did, it says. She asked him to leave her room, and he responded by giving her a glass of water to “help her feel better.”
 
Carra Crouch drank the glass of water and passed out immediately, according to the suit. When she awoke the next morning, the man was lying next to her, there was blood on the bed sheets, and she had “severe pain and soreness in her body in places which indicated she had been molested and raped,” it alleges. She locked herself in the bathroom and screamed at the man to leave her room, and returned to California that day.
 
That glass of water, Crouch now believes, contained a date rape drug which caused her to pass out.
TBN’s attorney Colby May vehemently denied any wrongdoing by TBN when contacted by Sforza. However, TBN did fire the 30-year-old man shortly after Carra Crouch reported him to her grandmother and Casoria:
Casoria, TBN’s in-house attorney,  fired him over the telephone, saying Trinity had gathered enough evidence to terminate him with cause, that the evidence was “most probably sufficient to bring criminal charges” against him, and that Trinity would not disclose the evidence to the police if he would not file for unemployment, worker’s compensation or an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim, the suit alleges.
Carra Crouch, until recently, worked at the TBN gift shop. She was fired, however, as part of what she calls a sweep by Paul and Jan Crouch against family members who are close to her sister, Koper.
 
We’ll check in periodically on this suit and others against TBN. Stay tuned.

 

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