Bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Paid CFO $132K Home Fee
Fred Southard dodged taxes with housing 'allowance'
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2010 3:18 AM CST
Robert H. Schuller leads a prayer at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif.   (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Ana Venegas)

(Newser) – A US trustee and a creditors committee are challenging Crystal Cathedral's spending habits—including a six-figure housing allowance for the church CFO, who owns a $2.3 million home, as well as mystery payments to officials, according to documents filed with the court. Last year, the megachurch paid Fred Southard $132,000 of his $144,000 compensation in the form of a housing allowance, which allowed him to dodge income taxes, reports the Los Angeles Times. He paid only $15 in taxes for 2009, according to documents.

The cathedral wants to pay him a $146,000 allowance this year as the church's case goes through bankruptcy court. "There is no justification whatsoever for a housing allowance of this amount," said the trustee in a challenge filed in court documents. The trustee and creditors are also challenging hefty salaries to two of founder Robert Schuller's relatives who appear to be doing the same job. The church employs more than a dozen of Schuller's relatives and in-laws. Creditors, meanwhile, are owed up to $100 million. Click here for more.

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Nov 18, 2010 4:54 PM CST
It's hard to decide who's more loathsome. Religiots who screw the nation, or Conservatives who screw the nation.
Nov 18, 2010 11:23 AM CST
If the baggers would put their money where their big mouths are and end the exemptions for these tax sucking social clubs for the superstitious, these kind of problems wouldn't pop up as they could be an honest extremely profitable business like any other. It would actually be doing them a favor.
Nov 18, 2010 8:53 AM CST
YOUR SUMMARY IS WRONG..PLEASE CORRECT.. As indicated in the LA Times story..the pastor involved is Fred Southard, CFO, NOT Robert Schuller. Pastor Schuller has enough problems right now, please do not add to them. I believe he is a great man and he has indeed created a beautiful church..His ministry is on a path of course correction at this time and they will survive..God bless Robert Schuller..