An attorney for the Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, which is swimming in lawsuits involving Brittany Koper, who alleges lawyers for the company unlawfully distributed more than $50 million to its directors, says the religious media giant scored a victory when a lawsuit filed by her uncle, in which he claimed the network's lawyers falsely and maliciously sued him over a $65,000 loan from the network, was dismissed May 7.
But the lawyer for Joseph McVeigh, who is Koper's uncle by marriage, says Trinity shouldn't do a touchdown dance.
McVeigh also alleged that Trinity founders Paul
and Jan Crouch
bought a $50 million jet through a "sham loan to an alter ego corporation" and that a $100,000 motor home was purchased for Jan's dogs. He also alleged "multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals", including the destruction of evidence related to a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity and its affiliated Holy Land Experience
employees, and the alleged cover-up of director Paul Crouch's use of Trinity funds to allegedly pay for a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford
, the former Trinity employee who claims he had a homosexual affair with Crouch.
McVeigh claimed that Trinity lawyers filed their lawsuit in retaliation for Koper blowing the whistle on the company's alleged financial misdeeds. Koper is the former chief financial officer, director of finance, corporate treasurer and director of human resources for the company, who also accuses attorney David C. Loe of sexually assualting her on multiple occasions in front of witnesses, including grabbing her breasts during a business meeting to "see how they feel."
Colby May, an attorney for Trinity, said McVeigh's lawsuit was an attempt to divert attention from Koper and her husband allegedly embezzling money from the company. He said their cohorts may include McVeigh.
He issued a press release Tuesday, saying the network got some good, although "not unexpected" news:
"The truth of the matter is that this lawsuit was never anything more than a smokescreen to obscure the Kopers' own misappropriation of ministry funds, as well as their illegal loan of over $65,000 to Mr. McVeigh," May said. "There was never any lavish or reckless spending of ministry money by the Crouches or any other TBN officials: no hundred thousand dollar motor homes for pets, private jets for personal use, or any other unaccountable expenditures."
May said McVeigh dismissed the lawsuit after TBN's attorneys filed a motion charging that the suit violated California's SLAPP law prohibiting meritless lawsuits filed to intimidate or silence a defendant, and that TBN would "ultimately be vindicated" in the lawsuit filed by Koper.
But according to Tymothy MacLeod, the attorney for both McVeigh and Koper, May is spinning a routine court action.
"He's being completely disengenuous," MacLeod said. "It's simply procedural shufflling."
MacLeod said the move to dismiss McVeigh's lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court was to fold the case in with other TBN-related actions at the federal level, and it will go forward in state court as well.
"TBN keeps filing new actions, up to nine different actions, that have been filed, so what we are trying to do is consolidate all the multiple lawsuits into one place," he said.
In October, Davert & Loe filed a lawsuit against Michael Koper, Brittany's husband, 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
, but is being brought back