Religion: Jim Bakker's Crumbling World

The founding father of PTL is charged with fraud, and more

The Federal Government dumped a hefty chunk of coal into Jim Bakker's Christmas stocking last week. In a 28-page indictment, the former top man of the scandal-plagued PTL TV ministry was charged with 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. His wife and co-star Tammy Faye, televangelism's dolled-up super- shopper, escaped by an eyelash, but three associates were also charged: PTL's former No. 2 administrator, Richard Dortch, and Bakker aides David and James Taggart.

Bakker and Dortch could receive lengthy prison terms. They were charged with illegally taking some $4 million in bonuses out of the PTL trough. In addition, says the...