From The AP:
The ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee is investigating the financial dealings of six TV evangelists, saying donors deserve to have their "money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code." Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent letters Monday asking media-oriented ministers around the country to provide documents detailing their finances by Dec. 6.
They include Joyce Meyer, one of America's wealthiest and most powerful TV preachers who has built a $124-million-a-year empire headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton.
A 2003 series in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed her lavish lifestyle and blunt fundraising pitches.
"I'm following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries," Grassley said in a statement.
"The allegations involve governing boards that aren't independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls-Royces.....
Among other things, the letter asked for a "detailed accounting" of all her and her husband's expense-account items, including clothing and cosmetic surgery, information about any overseas bank accounts and deposits, and the tax-exempt purpose of items at her ministry's headquarters, such as a $23,000 marble-topped commode, a $30,000 conference table and an $11,219 French clock.
Other ministries targeted by Grassley's inquiry include:
-- Benny Hinn of Grapevine, Texas, whose daily television program, "This is Your Day!" is seen in more than 100 countries.
-- Eddie Long of Lithonia, Ga., who preaches anti-gay themes and says God blesses people financially as well as spiritually.
-- Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Newark, Texas. He is a practitioner of the Word of Faith movement which believes that faith will reward people spiritually and financially.
-- Randy and Paula White of Tampa, Fla., who founded the Without Walls International Church, and listed as their possessions a $1.9 million jet and $3.5 million condominium in New York. In August, they announced their divorce.