CHARLOTTE, N.C. — PTL founder Jim Bakker assured his followers that he "would not lie to you about anything" in excerpts of his television shows viewed Tuesday by jurors at his fraud trial.
The jury is being shown eight hours culled from broadcasts of Bakker's "PTL Show," much of it dealing with "lifetime partnerships." Followers were asked to buy $1,000 partnerships, guaranteeing three nights of lodging a year for life at PTL's Heritage USA theme park in Ft. Mill, S.C.
"I'm sincere, I would not lie to you about anything," Bakker told viewers in one excerpt. "Mr. IRS got to me first, Uncle Sam just took everything we could scrape together. Next month will be a little better for me."
In a 1984 videotape, Bakker urged his audience to pay for partnerships with a credit card, saying he bought his with a credit card because he did not have any cash. That same year, prosecutors said, Bakker received $1 million in salary and bonuses.
Bakker is accused of diverting more than $3.7 million in PTL money to pay for personal luxuries.