A televangelist bought a private jet two weeks after receiving PPP funds.
Marcus Lamb runs Daystar Television, which may have as many as 2 billion viewers and is valued at a quarter of a billion dollars. Two weeks after it took $4 million in taxpayer PPP funds, it bought a private jet, a Gulfstream V, valued at between $9 million and $10 million.
The preacher says they got a good deal on the 14 passenger Gulfstream, and that they had their own money so didn’t need to use PPP funds for it. Of course if they were that flush, why are taxpayers supporting them, and why aren’t they using their own funds for their employees who conduct religious teachings?
That’s probably a problem more with the government’s helicopter drop, where anyone who wanted to grab money could do so. I’m not sure whether it’s right to criticize taking money that’s being offered.
Lisa Guerrero of Inside Editiion wanted to know, though, why the pastor took the jet on what his wife posted to social media was a vacation? That presents potential IRS problems, since it’s converting a non-profit asset to personal use, especially problematic for a “disqualified person” with respect to that non-profit (potentially creating exposure to an excess benefits transactions tax).
The church now says they’ve paid back the PPP funds.