A Florida middleman arranging overseas financing for Jim Bakker's $172 million bid to buy back PTL has been convicted of fraud and has a long criminal record, a television station reported.

The report Wednesday night by WBTV in Charlotte comes on the eve of deadlinesThursday and Friday for Bakker, the leading bidder for the embattled ministry's assets, to prove he can carry through on his offer."(There's) one complication after another, sort of like a soap opera," M.C. "Red" Benton, PTL's bankruptcy trustee, said Wednesday.

Benton said he was concerned over the report that Louis Pihakis of Pensacola, Fla., was convicted of fraud and has an extensive criminal record. Pihakis has been coordinating arrangements with unidentified Greek businessmen planning to back Bakker's bid, Bakker attorney James Toms said.

Benton said he would meet with Bakker Thursday.

"I want to find out how he feels this will affect his deal . . . (and hear) just what his alternatives are," Benton said.