Falwell Jr. says FBI to investigate 'criminal conspiracy' at Liberty University

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. told Hill.TV on Tuesday that he has begun sharing information with the FBI in what he alleged was a criminal conspiracy against him by former board members at the school.

Falwell said in an exclusive interview that in the coming days the FBI will review university documents at the Lynchburg, Va., campus. He accused former colleagues of stealing school property in the form of emails and then sharing them with reporters in an effort to damage his reputation.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Our attorneys have determined that this small group of former board members and employees, they’re involved in a criminal conspiracy, are working together to steal Liberty property in the form of emails and provided them to reporters," Falwell Jr. said in a phone interview.

The accusation follows a Politico story published Monday that detailed a "culture of fear and self-dealing at the largest Christian college in the world." The story cited internal Liberty University emails, which Falwell Jr. and his attorney's allege were stolen in a coordinated effort.

Falwell Jr. told Hill.TV that he believes the leak of internal emails was the result of a failed effort among former board of director members to oust him from control. He said the school was in financial distress after the death of his father, Jerry Falwell, and "disgruntled" board members had hoped to use this vulnerability as "leverage to take over."

"They came here thinking that Liberty would remain in financial difficulty. Instead I’ve been able to build a $2 billion unrestricted endowment," Falwell Jr. said.

Liberty University did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Updated on Wednesday at 11:05 a.m.