Liberty University’s homophobic president approved a real estate deal letting his personal trainer obtain university property.
Real estate records, university emails, and reporting by Reuters indicate Jerry Falwell Jr. signed off on actions that let valuable property belonging to the nonprofit Christian school to end up in the hands of Benjamin Crosswhite.
A 23-year-old recent graduate of the school at the time when the deals were signed, Crosswhite now owns an 18-acre racquetball and fitness facility on former university property. Local bank records show Crosswhite pulled a $2 million loan last year to purchase the land.
This is the second time this summer that Falwell has been tied to strange financial dealings with a young man.
The Falwell family spent $4.7 million to buy the Alton Hostel in Miami Beach's South Beach area, with about a quarter of that going to Giancarlo Granda to manage it. Falwell knew Granda from when the young man was a pool boy at Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Hotel.
A Miami Herald investigation tied that real estate deal to allegations by Michael Cohen, an attorney best known as Donald Trump’s former fixer, that Falwell was threatened with the release of racy photos of his wife, Rebecca, shortly before he endorsed Trump’s presidential bid.