Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19 1987

Televangelist fraud Jim Bakker resigns after revelations about porking Jessica Hahn and scamming his insanely credulous flock

"From 1984 to 1987, Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 "lifetime memberships", which entitled buyers to a three-night stay annually at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA. According to the prosecution at Bakker's later fraud trial, tens of thousands of memberships had been sold, but only one 500-room hotel was ever completed. Bakker "sold" more "exclusive partnerships" than could be accommodated, while raising more than twice the money needed to build the actual hotel. A good deal of the money went into Heritage USA's operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million in bonuses for himself. A $279,000 payoff for the silence of Jessica Hahn, a staff secretary at the church, was paid with PTL's funds to Hahn through Bakker associate Roe Messner, who later married Tammy Fay Bakker."

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