Anti-gay televangelist Pat Robertson is being sued by SunTrust bank for $3.6M because he refuses to reimburse them for costs incurred when the bank backed his ill-fated purchase of a Los Angeles oil refinery.
SunTrust said one of its predecessor banks, Richmond-based Crestar, provided a letter of credit to Golden West Refining Co. in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., in 1998 on behalf of the Robertson-controlled company Cenco Inc. Its standby letter of credit for $5 million was intended to protect Golden West against possible environmental obligations involving the Huntington Beach Marine Terminal and related assets that Cenco bought. Cenco’s sole shareholder is the Robertson Charitable Remainder Unitrust, and Robertson is the trustee, SunTrust said. Crestar provided the letter of credit because Robertson’s trust at the time was thought to have marketable securities worth nearly $100 million, the suit said.
Robertson’s company encountered massive environmental problems while attempting to restart the refinery and eventually paid over $1M in fines to the EPA and agreed to remove thousands of barrels of contaminated water, oil, and soil. Robertson claims he owes SunTrust nothing.
So why DOES a televangelist need an oil refinery and a diamond mine anyway?