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November 27, 2022

Today in Questionable Business Expenses: A $100,000 Motor Home for Dogs

Anyone that's ever had the pleasure of being exposed to any batshit crazy televangelists have not only thought, "Why, God, why?" but also, "I bet they're totally ripping people off," or "He probably frequents hookers." And you'd be right!

Today in PTL shenanigans, we have Paul and Janice Crouch who are part of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. At some point, Paul's granddaughter, Brittany Koper, was "promoted" into a prominent position in the finance department. Did Brittany earn this promotion through hard work and Excel savvy? NOPE! But nepotism aside, Brittany seemed to want to do the right thing and when she blew the whistle on TBN for some "illegal financial schemes" she was promptly fired. Being a young person of means, Brittany was not about to let this injustice stand and told her husband's uncle (also a former TBN exec) about the situation, who sued the network. And, as we know, the best thing about lawsuits is that's when all the ugly details are learned:

McVeigh's lawsuit alleges that Brittany Koper was promoted to the position of TBN's finance director in July because the network directors needed someone "within the family" to keep its financial "skeletons" hidden.
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.
TBN directors received about $300,000 to $500,000 in meal expenses and the use of chauffeurs, and oversaw "fraudulent donation and kickback schemes involving third party 'ministries'" the network controlled, the suit claims.
The directors also misused funds to cover up sexual scandals, the suit claims.
Okay, sex scandal cover-ups, mansions, kickbacks, meals. All these things strike me as normal, everyday (ab)use of organization money. Even a $50 million loan for a luxury jet, while absurd, isn't so unbelievable. The problem is this motor home. Americans love their canines and go to great lengths to make sure they live better than some – nay – most humans, but one hundred large for a house on wheels? This is too stupid to be believed (which, for me, is saying something). All sorts of questions must be answered and they have little to do with business purpose – which there most assuredly was none – around the transaction. Was it a human RV that the dogs would live in or is it a dog-sized RV for dogs? If the former, did they have a driver? If all the pooches are the size of the poor creature in the picture, then I suppose the small vehicle would be an option but if there's a single labrador or Great Dane in the bunch, clearly only the human size would work.
And as for the cost, there isn't a price on this Straightline beauty, but something tells me it's not $100k. Granted, Mrs. Jesus Frightnight probably has somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen to five hundred dogs so, again, size becomes an issue but still I don't see how $100k gets spent. Perhaps it was a custom job? If you've got history with motor home pet expenses, you're invited to educate the rest of us.

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