Ho Yeow Sun's pop music career worth US$25m
Text: Joelle Chong, Ilsa Chan and Kymie Hwang
Pictures from Internet and YouTube
Despite ballooning marketing expenses for singer Ho Yeow Sun’s foray into the United States pop music scene, projected album sales and profits from Ho’s music career far exceeded the $13 million in bonds that Xtron had to redeem from the church, noted City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee’s lawyer Edwin Tong.
US producer Justin Herz told Kong that Ho was to work with hitmakers Wyclef Jean and The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, and US marketer Lisa Ellis, who believed Ho could “be huge”, benchmarked her marketing budget against that of Columbian songstress Shakira’s supposed US$12 million (S$15.4 million) budget.
An email by accused Serina Wee, who was Xtron’s accountant, had revealed expected album sales of 200,000 and revenue of S$2.17 million, which was, in Wee’s words, “hardly enough to pay off the $13 million”.
However, Tong argued that the figure could be only part of the total sales, given the “worst-case scenario” estimates of Ellis and Herz.
According to a seven-year profit and loss projection by the latter, the total net profit from Ho’s US career by next year would be nearly US$27 million (S$34.6 million).
Emails showed Kong and another of the accused, former church board Vice-President Tan Ye Peng, were worried that the initial capital outlay of US$12.4 million and a longer capital recovery period for the project would make it “a hard sell to the XPL (Xtron) directors”.
It is alleged that the six CHC members - Serina Wee Gek Yin, Tan Ye Peng, John Lam Leng Hung, Chew Eng Han and Sharon Tan Shao Yuen - used approximately $24 million of church building funds to fund Ho's music career, and approximately another $26 million to cover their tracks.
These investments were made in Xtron, Firna and Ultimate Assets.
While Ho is mentioned in the charges, she is not charged because she is not involved in the misappropriation of funds.
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