If you’re a fan of pink hair and oversized nostrils, you’ve undoubtedly found yourself occasionally transfixed in a late-night television stupor by that mega-couple of Christian scams, Jan and Paul Crouch.
The Crouches have occasionally come under scrutiny over the years and have had brushes with scandals, both financial and sexual. But a family squabble among the potential heirs to the TBN empire has triggered recent renewed attention to their finances and, in particular, to the tax-exempt status of their organization.
The New York Times delved into this juicy subject recently in a lengthy expose of the multi-million dollar empire that the two have built, focusing on their family dysfunction and on their questionable accounting practices.
Mr. and Mrs. Crouch have his-and-her mansions one street apart in a gated community here, provided by the network using viewer donations and tax-free earnings. But Mrs. Crouch, 74, rarely sleeps in the $5.6 million house with tennis court and pool. She mostly lives in a large company house near Orlando, Fla., where she runs a side business, the Holy Land Experience theme park. Mr. Crouch, 78, has an adjacent home there too, but rarely visits. Its occupant is often a security guard who doubles as Mrs. Crouch’s chauffeur.
The twin sets of luxury homes only hint at the high living enjoyed by the Crouches, inspirational television personalities whose multitudes of stations and satellite signals reach millions of worshipers across the globe. Almost since they started in the 1970s, the couple have been criticized for secrecy about their use of donations, which totaled $93 million in 2010.
The only confusion in all of this is how this duo has managed to get away with their scam for as long as they have.
Read the New York Times article: