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Jim Bakker's Fraud Convictions Upheld

His prison sentence, however, was vacated.


• A federal appeals court upheld the criminal fraud convictions of televangelist Jim Bakker, but vacated his 45-year prison sentence. In 1989, Bakker was convicted on 8 counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud, and 1 count of conspiracy. In addition to his prison sentence, Bakker was fined $500,000. These convictions were based on mail and television appeals to raise funds for "lifetime partnerships." These partnerships promised lodging privileges for various amounts of time in facilities at "PTL." Many of these "partners" drew on meager incomes to purchase their lodging benefits. Bakker raised at least $158 million through the sale of approximately 153,000 partnerships with lodging benefits. He promised television viewers that he would limit the sale of partnerships to ensure that each partner would be able to use the facilities annually. However, Bakker oversold the partnerships. ...

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  • March 1, 1991

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