A former executive for the Trinity Broadcasting Network has accused the company of illegally funnelling more than $50 million in charitable assets to its board of directors.
In a federal lawsuit, Brittany Koper, granddaughter of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch and the former chief financial officer, director of finance, corporate treasurer and director of human resources for the company, not only accuses the Long Beach-based legal firm Davert & Loe of unlawfully distributing the money to company directors, but also accuses attorney David C. Loe of sexually assualting her on multiple occasions in front of witnesses.
Loe, Douglass S. Davert and Benjamin N. Flint III were Koper's former personal attorneys and did legal work for the worldwide Christian TV ministry, according to the suit. Koper is not suing TBN or the Crouches. The law firm has not responded to a request for comment.
In the suit, which was first reported by the Orange County Register, Koper accuses Loe of sexual assualt while representing her within the last year.
According to Koper, Loe made unwanted sexual advances toward her while advising her during a divorce, including touching her repeatedly in an overtly sexual manner and telling her he was aroused sexually, and making lewd remarks about engaging in sexual acts with her.
Loe also offered Koper illegal drugs, and, during a meeting, touched her breasts, Koper says.
"In a business meeting, Mr. Loe made repeated remarks about Ms. Koper's breast enhancement surgery, reached across the table in front of witnesses, and grabbed Ms. Koper's breasts to (as Ms. [sic] Loe put it) "see how they feel," according to Koper's suit
When Koper refused Loe's sexual advances, he allegedly became cruel and vindictive toward her, while representing her in several legal matters, and he joined Davert and
Flint in "purposefully and maliciously" acting against her interests, according to the suit.
When she was appointed head of finance, the attorneys as well as senior executives told Koper of illegal financial dealings in the company, according to the suit. After she blew the whistle on the financial misdeeds, Koper was told by the attorneys to cover it up or she was "going to get into trouble", according to the suit.
Koper and her husband, Michael Koper, who, according to the suit, worked as the company's corporate secretary and vice president of media services, were told they would be arrested for theft if they took any documents to lawyers, accountants, investigators or prosecutors, according to the suit.
Koper alleges that she and her husband were fired after she reported the alleged financial misdeeds. She was fired on or about Sept. 30, according to the suit.
Matthew Crouch, son of Paul and Jan, and a director at Trinity, began tapping a gun he had brought to a meeting, and asked Koper what she thought would happen when she wrote a memo to the board critical of his alleged financial misconduct, according to the suit:
"Matthew Crouch continued tapping the gun he was holding to ensure that Ms. Koper recognized the lethal threat being made."
The attorneys told Koper that she was allegedly just as guilty as the company's board of directors when it came to illegally taking in the money in question, and that she and her husband would be sent to prison for decades if she reported the matter, according to the suit.
Koper alleges that when she asked the attorneys what she should do about Crouch's alleged threats, they told her to "move on" with her life as quickly and as "painlessly"
as possible. According to the suit, they also told her the board of directors was furious over her bringing it up and objecting to the financial moves, and that Trinity wouldn't stop until she and her husband were "punished".
The attorneys promised to help Koper in any way they could and told her to "do whatever" she was told by John Casoria -- who is identified in the suit as a senior Trinity executive and in-house lawyer -- or else she would go to jail, according to the suit.
Koper alleges in the suit that the attorneys told her she should "seek spiritual and financial contrition" from Trinity's directors, and advised her that the best thing to do would be to reduce herself to a state of "abject poverty" by returning all income and property acquired while working at the company, and then plead for the "Christian sympathy" of its directors.
Casoria allegedly told the Kopers that Trinity would have them arrested unless they immediately returned their earned income and property. The Kopers within six weeks turned over their property to Trinity, including the title to their house, their car, jewelry, life insurance and furniture, according to the suit. Casoria has not responded to a request for comment.
Koper then took a lower paying job in New York and moved there with her husband in October, according to the suit. That was the same month Davert & Loe filed a lawsuit against Michael Koper, alleging that he forged documents to misappropriate roughly $400,000.
The suit was filed on Oct. 18 by Redemption Strategies Inc. According to the secretary of state's office, Loe formed Redemption Strategies on Oct. 17.
The suit was dismissed in January.