Passed away: Evangelist Paul Crouch, left, with his wife, Jan, right, died Saturday after battling degenerative heart disease for 10 years
Widow: Jan, Paul Crouch's wife, is now left alone to handle the couple's wealthy estate after his death
Paul Crouch, who built what has been called the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, has died. He was 79.
Trinity Broadcasting Network reported Saturday that Crouch died after a decade-long fight with degenerative heart disease.
A message was left for Crouch's grandson Brandon, who wrote about Crouch's death on his Twitter page.
Crouch and his wife Jan founded the network in 1973 and grew it into an international Christian empire that beams prosperity gospel programming to every continent but Antarctica around the clock.
The programming promises that if the faithful sacrifice for their belief, God will reward them with material wealth.
Last year in March two former employees sued the non-profit of spending $50 million of its funding on extravagant personal expenses.
Among purchases, the Crouch couple were accused of misappropriating its 'charitable assets' toward a $50 million jet, 13 mansions and a $100,000-mobile home for Mrs Crouch's dogs.
Their granddaughter, Brittany Koper, 26, recently filed her allegations in court after a brief appointment as the network's chief finance director in July.
Issues: Their granddaughter, Brittany Koper, 26, second from left, last year filed allegations of misappropriating their 'charitable assets' toward a $50 million jet, 13 mansions and a $100,000-mobile home for the dogs
Dog house: Mrs Crouch has been accused in a lawsuit of spending $100,000 on a mobile home for her dogs
The lawsuit attention came at a bad time for TBN, which had seen viewer donations drop steeply.
TBN raked in $92 million in donations in 2010 and cleared $175 million in tax-free revenue, but its net income plummeted from nearly $60 million in 2006 to a loss of $18 million in 2010, the most recent year available.
Donations fell by nearly $30 million in the same period — a hit the network blames on the bad economy.
TBN is no stranger to outside scrutiny.
In 1998, the elder Crouch secretly paid an accuser $425,000 to keep quiet about allegations of a homosexual encounter.
Crouch Sr. has consistently denied the allegations, which were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, and has said he settled only to avoid a costly and embarrassing trial.
In 2000, after a five-year battle, a federal appeals court overturned a ruling by the FCC that found Mr Crouch had created a 'sham' minority company to get around limits on the number of TV stations he could own.