City Harvest Members Charged
City Harvest founder Kong Hee and four other church members were charged in court this morning - with misappropriating church funds.
The prosecution is levelling three sets of charges against the five - involving over $50 million in total.
This is more than the $23 million earlier announced by the Commissioner of Charities.
Outside the Subordinate Courts, a scrum involving media and church supporters broke out when Kong Hee and his wife, local songstress Sun Ho, arrived.
City Harvest Church supporters were gathered outside the court as early as 7.30 this morning.
Their numbers swelled to over a hundred within an hour.
Other members of the church being charged are senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, Board member Lam Leng Hung, Finance manager Tan Shao Yuen Sharon, And Investment Manager of the church, Chew Eng Han.
The group faces three sets of charges.
The first involves sham bond investments.
The prosecution is accusing the group of creating these bonds in order to divert some $24 million from the Church Building Fund to finance Sun Ho's music career.
To avoid scrutiny by church auditors, the group then allegedly devised a series of complex transactions - called round-tripping transactions - to clear the sham bonds off the church accounts.
A further $26.6 million of church funds were believed to have been used for this.
The third charge levelled against the group is for falsifying church accounts to cover their tracks.
The accused members allegedly doctored church accounts to give the impression that the sham bonds had been redeemed.
All five church members stood solemnly together in the dock when the charges were read to them.
They have been offered bail of $500,000 each, and their passports have been impounded.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
Eva Longoria, Doutzen Kroes and French designer Christian Louboutin walk the red carpet for Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi's "The Past"... More Eva Longoria, Doutzen Kroes and French designer Christian Louboutin walk the red carpet for Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi's "The Past" at the Cannes Film Festival.
Date 9 hrs ago, Duration 0:37, Views 47