Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana (which conducts business as TBN) is petitioning the court against former employees Michael and Brittany Koper for failing to settle their dispute outside of court.
The Kopers, according to the court filing by TBN attorney Douglas L. Mahaffey, have failed to file any timely response to their demand for arbitration. TBN claims that the Kopers are refusing to arbitrate because they believe "their hush money agenda was advanced by the public forums."
"The reasons for the Kopers not participating have been strategic," according to the petition. "Since their termination, the Kopers have pursued 'hush money' by a media campaign to undermine the mission and reputation of TCCSA by making baseless allegations against TCCSA's principals.
"Taking advantage of their access to financial and employment files, the Kopers absconded with large quantities of TCCSA corporate records, and now are systematically disclosing to the news media and other information-based organizations confidential information and trade secrets."
Brittany Koper is the granddaughter of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch. She previously served as the chief financial officer, director of finance, corporate treasurer and director of human resources while Michael Koper worked with TCCSA's general counsel.
The former CFO filed a lawsuit earlier this year, claiming that the board of directors at the Christian company illegally took advantage of more than $50 million in "charitable assets" for their own good. The lawsuit wasn't against TBN, however. It was against attorneys of Davert & Loe who do some work for TBN. Koper claimed that the attorneys advised her to falsify public financial disclosures and government records after she discovered illegal financial practices taking place.
Koper's younger sister, Carra Crouch, 19, also filed a lawsuit months later in June, alleging that she was raped by an older TBN employee in 2006. The suit claims that TBN covered up the incident and never reported it to the police or the media.
Colby May, the attorney for Trinity, told OC Weekly that the rape allegations were baseless and that Carra Crouch appeared to be a pawn in the Kopers' larger vendetta.
The Orange County, Calif.-based TBN has made its own allegations against the Kopers. The broadcasting company, which has over 5,000 television stations, alleges that the couple made "illegal use of the corporation credit card of the president of TCCSA," embezzled funds, and stole and converted to their own use property and assets of TCCSA.
In the latest court filing, TBN argues that the Kopers had entered into a written comprehensive arbitration agreement during their employment and have breached the terms of the agreement.
All disputes were to be settled outside of court.
"All efforts by TCCSA to move forward with arbitration and terminate the disclosure of internal records have been stonewalled by the Kopers who refuse to move toward a resolution of the disputes between the parties," the court document states.
TBN is seeking a court order stating that the Kopers are in default, and enjoining any filings by the couple of counterclaims.