Pastor Kong Hee and five other leaders of the City Harvest Church have been found guilty for criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts today (Oct 21). The judge did not mince his words for his judgement saying the six “engaged in conspiracies to defraud and falsify accounts based on extensive documentary evidence”:
“Music production firm Xtron and glass manufacturer Firna were not genuine investments… and were all wrong uses of CHC’s funds. I do not see how they can be said to have acted in good faith in relation to the charges they face.
“I find that the accused persons were variously inextricably entangled in two conspiracies to misuse CHC’s funds. One conspiracy consisted of misusing building fund monies for the Crossover, and the other involved misusing CHC’s funds, a substantial portion of which comprised building fund monies, to create the appearance of bond redemptions and to defraud the auditors via falsified accounts through the various roles they played.
Each of them participated and functioned in their own way as crucial cogs in the machinery.
They chose to participate in the conspiracy to misuse CHC’s funds, which included siphoning off large amounts from the building fun for Sun Ho’s music career and eventually for the round-tripping transactions to enable the bond redemptions. They chose to defraud the auditors with falsified accounts suggesting a series of genuine transactions for the redemption of bonds and advance rental.
The evidence points overwhelmingly to a finding that they had all acted dishonestly and in breach of the trust reposed in them and they played their respective roles in a conspiracy with intent to cause wrongful loss to CHC and to defraud the auditors.”
The CHC leaders’ defence lawyers however claimed that the six accused did not made any personal gains and that they acted out of altruism. Each of the six posted a bail between S$750,000 to S$1 million today. They face the maximum sentence of 10 years jail and a fine.
City Harvest Church is the wealthiest church in Singapore and its founders Kong Hee and Sun Ho used to live in a luxurious property at Sentosa cove before putting it up on sales this year. Sun Ho’s singing career terminated after lacklustre sales results and have spent the church millions of funding which they secured from church-goers.