c3 church, CHC, Chew Eng Han, Christian City Church, court, hanafi, kong, Kong Hee, Ms Chionh, Phil Pringle, Pringle, scandal, Sun Ho, Wahju Hanafi, xtron
More disturbing news has surfaced against Kong Hee and his wife. We bring you these two articles that we are sure Phil Pringle does not want you to read.
Channel News Asia reports,
CHC spent half a million dollars buying Sun Ho’s unsold CDs
These and other details surfaced as the prosecution sought to highlight inconsistencies in the testimony of ex-church board member John Lam, who cited Ms Ho’s success as a reason CHC should invest in bonds issued by her artiste management company.
SINGAPORE — Ms Sun Ho was not the successful singer City Harvest Church had made her out to be. Evidence showed that the church had spent about half a million dollars buying her unsold CDs.
The profitability of her artiste management company Xtron was also called into question as the trial involving the church’s leader Kong Hee and his five deputies resumed yesterday.
The six church leaders are accused of misusing more than S$50 million of church funds to buy sham bonds to bankroll Ms Ho’s music career.
Although she had been touted as a big commercial success, lead prosecutor Mavis Chionh said the financial statements told a different story.
In 2004, City Harvest Church spent about half a million dollars buying at least 32,000 of her unsold Mandarin CDs to give to ministries and churches overseas.
These details surfaced as the prosecution sought to highlight inconsistencies in the evidence given by former church board member John Lam.
Lam had cited Ms Ho’s success as a reason for the church’s investment in bonds issued by Xtron. He pointed out that the junk bonds were not necessarily bad ones and added that he had believed Ms Ho’s album sales in the United States would be good enough to cover the obligations of the bond.
However, the prosecution said that as former director of Xtron, Lam would have known it was not a profitable company. For example, its only asset was a laptop and all its other assets were loaned from the church. It did not even have the budget to pay a S$46,000 freight services bill.
The prosecution also pointed out that Xtron was not the independent entity it had been made out to be. For one, Lam and fellow accused Chew Eng Han had agreed to stamps being made of their signatures to be used on Xtron’s invoices.
Ms Chionh said the two were “happy to rubber stamp decisions”, knowing that they were made by Kong and the church and were happy to go along with those decisions.
The court also heard that the bulk of Xtron’s funding came from the church’s members. For example, Indonesian businessman Wahju Hanafi’s donations to the church’s building fund were refunded to him and channelled to Xtron. The building fund pledges and tithes of some other members, including Lam’s, were also diverted to Xtron.
The trial continues.
Source: By http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/chc-spent-half-a-million/1296604.html, Published 23:49 AM 04/08/2014. (Accessed 05/08/2014.)CHC spent half a million dollars buying Sun Ho’s unsold CDs, Channel News Asia,
Yahoo! Singapore reports,
City Harvest case resumes: S$500,000 used to buy Sun Ho’s unsold music CDs
City Harvest Church (CHC) spent $500,000 to buy Sun Ho’s unsold CDs. This was revealed in court on Monday as the trial involving the church leaders resumed.
According to Today newspaper, lead prosecutor Mavis Chionh said the financial statements of the church revealed that at least 32,000 of Ms Ho’s unsold music CDs were purchased by the church for a sum of S$500,000 to give away to ministries and churches overseas. Sun Ho is the wife of CHC co-founder and pastor Kong Hee. A former student of Anglican High School and Victoria Junior College, Ho — previously known as Ho Yeow Sun when she was a successful Mandopop singer — began to eye the US pop market in 2003 and had plans to use A-list music stars to launch her career in Hollywood.
Ms Ho’s “commercial success” was also cited as a reason for the church’s investment in Xtron-issued bonds. Xtron was Sun Ho’s artiste management agency although its profitability and who controlled it is currently under question.
Church founder Kong Hee, his wife Sun Ho and former finance manager Serina Wee are among six senior church leaders accused of misappropriating more than S$50 million worth of church fundsto finance Sun Ho’s career as part of a “Crossover Project” — a church mission started in 2002 designed to reach out to non-Christians through music.
Former City Harvest treasurer and board member, John Lam Leng Hung also took the stand on Monday, claiming he had “mistakenly” pumped S$1.2 million into a church-building fund, which was later withdrawn and channeled into funds to develop the musical career of Sun Ho.
Clad in shirt and blazer, Lam, 46, was the first of six leaders to take the stand in the fifth tranche of the mega church’s trial, which resumed on Monday.
During court proceedings, prosecutor Mavis Chionh produced a 2002 email suggesting that Lam’s “error” was part of a deliberate plan to muddy the paperwork trail before the eventual channeling of funds into the Crossover Project.
In the email between Lam and another accused church leader, Chew said, “We will need to do more withdrawals of BF [building fund] (this time, probably Wahju and myself), and put into Xtron, and Pst Kong will put in some personal cash also…”
This “merry go round” funds as claimed by Lam in another email was initially excluded in meeting minutes submitted to auditors because he was “scared” that the public would “object” the withdrawing from the building fund. It was later added into the minutes signed by Lam. In response to this, prosecutors suggested that Lam had “falsified” the document.
The court also heard that the bulk of Xtron’s funds came from City Harvest church members.
For example, the $1.2 million in question was donated by church member, Wahju Hanafi, the owner of company Attributes Pte Ltd. Lam had initially explained that he had made an “error” when depositing $1.2 million worth of donations, which was originally intended for Sun Ho’s career from the start.
Lam allowed rubber stamping of his signatures
Lam also admitted to allowing stamps to be made of his signature for invoices under Xtron as he would not be “the best person” to verify some of them.
He admitted to this after prosecutor Chionh showed an email from the church’s human resource and administration manager Wong Foong Ming requesting to make signature stamps.
Lam added that Wee was in charge of processing those invoices and had trusted her verification.
The trial continues on Tuesday.
Source: By Nurul Azliah Aripin, City Harvest case resumes: S$500,000 used to buy Sun Ho’s unsold music CDs, Yahoo! Singapore, https://sg.news.yahoo.com/city-harvest-church-leader-john-lam-in-spotlight-for-s-1-2-million–error–100459301.html, Published 04/08/2014. (Accessed 05/08/2014.)
EDIT 09/08/2014 Here are more articles relevant to the case:
CHC leaders accused of doctoring paperwork to back investments
But church board member says backdated meeting minutes were ‘a mistake’
SINGAPORE — The leaders of City Harvest Church (CHC) had planned to falsify paperwork and deceive auditors that the church had assessed Xtron’s bonds to be a good investment, charged the prosecution as the high-profile trial resumed yesterday.
Church founder Kong Hee and his five deputies are being accused of using millions in church funds to buy sham bonds from Xtron and Firna in order to bankroll the secular music career of Kong’s wife, Ms Sun Ho.
Yesterday, the prosecution said the leaders doctored documents so auditors would think the church had considered in July 2008 whether the Xtron bonds could be recovered before the auditors raised the issue on Aug 1, 2008.
For example, the minutes of a church board meeting dated Aug 3, 2008, reflected that CHC’s investment committee had already reviewed and approved the Xtron bonds. But the investment committee only met two days later, on Aug 5.
Similarly, the minutes from that investment committee meeting were backdated to July 29.
A spreadsheet reflecting Xtron’s ability to redeem the bonds, which had allegedly been presented at the Aug 5 meeting, was only created a few days later on Aug 8.
When these anomalies were highlighted to one of the accused, former church board member John Lam, who had seen both sets of minutes and signed off on the church board minutes, he said they were simply “a mistake”.
Lead prosecutor Mavis Chionh disputed that and called it a “deliberate act” to present a certain picture to the church’s auditors — that CHC had considered the recoverability of the bonds before the issue was raised.
Lam had been fully aware of the falsification and deception, argued the prosecution.
She also asserted that the church leaders had not always painted a full picture to its executive members and had sometimes given them misleading impressions.
That was because they did not want members to discover that money that had been meant for church-related matters had, instead, been spent on the Crossover Project. Fronted by Ms Ho, the project was the church’s way of evangelising through pop music.
The court also heard that the leaders had not told the church board that proceeds from the Firna bonds would be used to fund the project, leading them to believe that the bonds were genuine investments that were made purely to gain financial returns.
It was clear Firna, like Xtron, was merely a “conduit” to channel funds to the Crossover Project, charged Ms Chionh. CHANNEL NEWSASIA
Source: Today Online, CHC leaders accused of doctoring paperwork to back investments, http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/chc-leaders-accused-doctoring-paperwork-back-investments?singlepage=true, Published 4:03 AM, 07/08/2014. (Accessed 09/08/2014.)
Channel News Asia reports,
Five City Harvest Church leaders on trial met to discuss their defence
An email chain highlighted by the prosecution in court shows five of six church leaders on trial had met to discuss their defence and later raised concerns on whether they were on the same page about round-tripping charges.
SINGAPORE: Five of the six City Harvest Church leaders had met at least once in 2013 to discuss their defence, according to an email chain highlighted by the prosecution in court on Thursday (Aug 7). The court heard that church founder Kong Hee was not present at the meeting. The leaders are accused of using monies from the church’s building fund to buy sham bonds in Xtron and Firna to fund the secular music career of Sun Ho – the wife of church founder Kong Hee.
In an email, the church’s former investment manager and co-accused Chew Eng Han says he is “convinced” that they are not on the same page regarding the substance of their defence and some of them had shifted their position on what the bonds were actually for.
He adds that he is “disturbed” by this, and that these differences should be discussed when they next meet. Chew was also the one who brought the email chain to the court’s attention. It was admitted after a closed-door hearing on Tuesday.
Another email also revealed that his co-accused – John Lam, Serina Wee, and Sharon Tan had also raised concerns about whether they were all on the same page about the round-tripping charges.
In an email to Chew dated Feb 3, 2013, John Lam wrote: “The 2 girls have a concern. If on the bond issue there seem to be a “different page”, how about the round trip? Are we having the different view as well. Obviously we rather not.” He then suggests a meet-up to discuss this. When initially questioned by the prosecution, he had denied talking to the other accused persons about what should be said at trial.
The prosecution then questioned Lam about why – if he was truly honest – would he be worried about his co-accused taking a different view of the charges.
Lead Prosecutor Mavis Chionh asked: “Do you agree that if you are an honest accused person who is going to go to court and tell the truth… you would not be trying to meet up with your co-accused persons and worrying about their taking a different view from yours on the charges?”
In wrapping up her cross-examination on Lam, Ms Chionh also said that Lam had placed the interests of the Crossover Project over and above his duty as a church board member to ensure proper stewardship of the church’s Building Fund. She also pointed out that Lam knew using the Building Fund monies to finance Ms Ho’s career was an unauthorised use of the funds, and that his keen awareness of this was why he had desperately tried to claim ignorance during the trial.
“It is also because of this guilty knowledge that you are now trying to disassociate yourself from the transactions and instead to push the blame to some of your co-accused, from blaming Sharon Tan, for example, for wrongly recording minutes, to blaming Chew Eng Han, whom you say was responsible for feeding you information,” she said.
Ms Chionh also gave a scathing assessment of Lam’s defence saying that it has essentially been one of “I don’t know, nobody told me, and if they did tell me, they didn’t ask me for advice”. She said given his status within the church, financial expertise, and documentary evidence, his defence is not only “untenable” but “deeply cynical”.
Source: ByFive City Harvest Church leaders on trial met to discuss their defence, Channel News Asia, http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/five-city-harvest-church/1302222.html, Published 07/08/2014 22:25, Updated 07/08/2014 22:26. (Accessed 09/08/2014.)
Well the deceit and what looks to me like outright financial fraud at CHC is all being revealed for the world to see.In His time God always reveals the truth. I believe there is a lot more ugly news to come for Kong Hee and his gang. My advice to honest CHC church members is “Buyer and Giver beware !!”.
” its only asset was a laptop..” I can only shake my head and wonder what it has come to…their faithful congregations must be gutted..there is no other word. As for buying back unsold CD’s…quite possibly Hillsong and C3 may have to ‘review’ their own policies after all of this.
“[Xtron’s] only asset was a laptop […]”
I guess that dovetails neatly with Sun Ho’s since-thwarted desires to be “culturally relevant” through lascivious moves: if only she’d thought of it, she could have been a laptop dancer…
“…she could have been a laptop dancer…”
I see what you did there!
Not only did CHC buy the “erotic CD’s of Sun Ho’s but Kong Hee had his finger in the honey pot as well !!. As previously disclosed by C3 Church Watch (in an Article from a Corporate Governance Workshop conference held in Singapore by the Singapore Investors Association recently) Kong Hee sold S$3mio of his own merchandise to the Charity as well which was not disclosed as a related party transaction by Kong Hee and his gang, I presume the profit margin on his S$3 mio worth of goodies was huge !! and he picked up the royalties as well on his sale, which he refunded to the charity so as to look good , however these were later reimbursed to him via another source !!?? yes he was paid his royalties later it seems secretly from a MULTI PURPOSE ACCOUNT (MPA)!!(a secret Slush Fund??) in CHC and also via CHC KL Malaysia !!
This whole scandal I believe is a circus where the ringmasters (The Kong Hee gang) sucked money out of church members pockets for their for their own greedy desires to get rich. What I believe happened here is Fraud. How did this happen, well as disclosed in the Singapore Investors Association Conference Papers in their case study on the CHC scandal- There was NO Transparency, NO Corporate Governance and NO Controls on those who had access to Church Funds-pure and simple!!.
“This whole scandal I believe is a circus where the ringmasters (The Kong Hee gang) sucked money out of church members pockets for their for their own greedy desires to get rich.”
People make the assumption that these pastors did all this to get rich. While this is a benefit, don’t think this is the case.
It is their false theology that is the core of the issue. They will teach you that we all must be the head and not the tail. The pastor must practice what he preaches.
It’s not just the pastor that has to be the head, their church must be the leading “head”-church and not the dead “tail”-church. The latest Kong Hee issue is a good example of this theology playing out. One of Kong’s mantras is that God takes us “from glory to glory” and he means this in the realm of success.
Both Sun Ho and himself cannot afford to decline in success. They must do everything they can to live up to not only God’s standard of success but also the worlds standard of success. And now their false beliefs have caught up with them. To them they saw no wrong in lying to people about Sun Ho’s success. Why? They believed their own false gospel.
And we are seeing this with Hillsong and C3 too. The theology they preach is not necessarily to feed their greed. They are theologically bound to their lies and cannot afford to fail these impossible standards they have set on themselves.
Remember- we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. The demons who convinced them to preach these lies and false gospel will destroy them in their lies.
We would like to encourage people not to throw hatred towards people like Kong Hee and Sun Ho. We should be sad for them and earnestly pray that God delivers them not from earthly justice but from their sin.
These people who have preached a false gospel are sowing to the flesh. They are now paying the consequences for not repenting. In saying all this, try reading the letter to the Galatians with the above in mind. There is the gospel of the Spirit and then there is the gospel of the flesh. One produces life, the other destroys you.
The gospel of the flesh that Kong preaches is now destroying him and it is devastating to watch.
Wet Paint - Don't Touch said:
“We bring you these two articles that we are sure Phil Pringle does not want you to read.”
Hey Phil, do us a favour will ya mate: be sure to remind your followers not to read C3churchwatch whatever they do – it’s a sure-fire way of ensuring maximum exposure of said C3 attendees to this latest information.
Also, we are all well aware that Kong Hee has stated that everything he does, he learnt from you – is there anything you need to tell us about your marketing strategy when it comes to flogging your so-called art, or how you sell so many of those wonderful, wonderful books that you write?
(You must be *so* proud of your star pupil Phil, you really must – surely it brings a tear to your eye when you see how unbridled has been his lust for lucre; he is clearly a man after your own heart).
let us hope that kong hee and company will be jailed. anything short of jail time would be a gross miscarriage of justice.
The sad thing in all of this is that it brings dishonor to the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
That’s true @kiwipirate – but then again, the more these people are exposed for what they really are, then many more people will begin to see that Jesus Christ has got nothing to do with them – nothing at all… and that they have just used Him as a convenient smokescreen which they have used to hide their evil deeds behind.
“He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”.” (Mark 4:21 – 23)
i believe that, behind the scenes, many of these false prophets are feeling very worried, because they have been caught out time and time again – not just by various online blogs, but by the media and some government departments as well, who have begun to question their lavish lifestyles and tax free status. Many people have ‘shone a lamp’ onto their activities and they are being exposed.
Perhaps we’ll see a lot more ‘Jimmy and Tammy Bakers’ fall from their pedestals
before Jesus comes again… and AMEN to that!
Churchwatcher, yes I agree 100% with your comment above, the money for these people is a side benefit, and it is devastating to see this happening to CHC it must be gut wrenching for CHC church members and testing their faith.
Sharkey, I’m sure there are members of CHC that this has tested their faith. But it reminds me of what a good friend once told me. “Is your faith in your church leader or in Christ?”
It doesn’t seem profound but it caused a shift in my thinking. If my church leader was found to be sinning and is unrepentant would my faith be tested? My answer is now no. My church leaders are just as human, just as sinful, just as prone to temptation as I am. If they were found to have done what Kong Hee is accused of I would be angry, very angry and saddened! But it wouldn’t affect my faith.
My concern is for those in CHC have put their faith in Kong Hee, not Christ. There will be people who reject Christ because of Kong Hee’s actions and that is a tragedy with eternal ramifications. How many in CHC, C3 and Hillsong have put their faith in their church leader, not the head of the catholic (universal) church, our Lord and Saviour, Christ?
As Churchwatcher said, we need to be praying for the leaders. We also need to be praying (and i would add fasting) for the church members too.
Set Free said:
The root of all evil is not money itself but the greed for money; and for those of the health and wealth gospel, they openly show this greed by their persistent preaching of deceit that tithes are mandatory from all Christians. The way to counter this is by explaining to the brethen that this is real deceit.
oh dear, silly me for thinking that you were participating in the Commonwealth ‘Gravatar’ Games – tut tut – my apologies for being so simple… 🙂
Nevertheless, it’s a bit ironic, isn’t it, that one of Phil’s favourite sayings, is;
“Show me your friends, and i’ll show you your future…”
I don’t know whether he’s got the memo yet, but some of his ‘friends’ recently went to jail, and there could be more on the way too…
I’m just wondering Berean, if Phil’s favourite saying will turn into a self fulfilling prophecy for him?
In the meantime, I do hope that the people of CHC find somewhere else to go – it’s about time that they “voted with their feet”. There must be lots of decent people amongst their numbers, and they don’t deserve this “radioactive fallout” that is hanging over them. Far better for them to move on and leave Kong Hee and his gang to their fate… One wonders why they are all still there?
That may sound unkind to some, but the Bible enjoins us to withdraw from false prophets, their bad behaviour, and their doctrines of devils…
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself…” (1 Timothy 6:3,4, 5)
“That may sound unkind to some, but the Bible enjoins us to withdraw from false prophets”
“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” titus 3:10
according to Jesus.. “anyone who loves father mother more than me is not worthy of me”, so withdrawing from family is even possible..
mohammed had to withdraw from family. this is mohammed’s testimony in in 4 parts (45 mins total). a nigerian herdsman who to become a Christian had to left his family and his village.. incredible. this is a 10.. nfg
“more than dreams mohammed’s story”