The 165,000 people who gave $1,000 to Jim Bakker's planned Heritage U.S.A. resort in return for promised four-day vacation stays will receive just $6.54 each.

That's partly because attorneys will receive $2.5 million of the $3.7 million settlement fund (created by former PTL accountants years ago), under a July 24 order issued by U.S. District Judge Lacy Thornburg in Asheville, North Carolina. A claims administrator will receive $200,000 to track down people entitled to money. Had the victims been given the entire settlement, it would have amounted to only $22.42 each.

Thomas T. Anderson and Associates, a California-based law firm, actually asked the judge for the entire settlement. The firm claimed it would be fruitless to search for all involved in the 16-year-old class action. Thornburg denied that request last year.

Bakker resigned from PTL in 1987 after admitting to an affair with a ministry secretary. He was convicted two years later of a wire- and mail-fraud scheme involving the sale of lifetime partnerships in Heritage U.S.A. in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in prison. A judge later cut his term to 18 years. He served 5 before being paroled in 1995.

Bakker is on the air again with The Jim Bakker Show, which originates at the Studio City Café in Branson, Missouri. The show's first installment aired on January 2.


Related Elsewhere



The Associated Press also ran an article about the settlement.

"The Jim Bakker Show" web site offers more information about the show and its hosts.

Christianity Today's earlier coverage of Jim Bakker and PTL includes:

The Re-education of Jim Bakker | Back on the streets, this fallen televangelist is preaching good news to the poor and predicting an asteroid-studded Second ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Go Figure Subscriber Access Only
Recent figures on faith and politics
RecommendedIs It Robbing God to Tithe on Your After-Tax (Not Gross) Income?
Is It Robbing God to Tithe on Your After-Tax (Not Gross) Income?
The Israelites were never subject to withholding upward of 15 percent.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickThe Church's Three-Part Harmony
The Church's Three-Part Harmony
Why evangelical, sacramental, and Pentecostal Christians belong together in one body.
Christianity Today
PTL Victims to Receive $6.54 Each
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.