On October 21 last year, Pastor Kong Hee with 5 other church leaders were found to be guilty of misappropriating S$24 million church funds. Kong is the senior pastor of Singapore's mega church City Harvest Church. $24 million in church funds were funnelled into bogus investments that funded the singing career of the pastor's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun. Later, a further $26 million was used to cover their tracks.
The six faced varying counts of criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts. A maximum cumulative sentence of 20 years can be imposed on the accused, in addition to a fine. Kong and Lam were found guilty of three charges of criminal breach of trust. Tan Ye Peng, Chew and Wee were convicted of six charges of criminal breach of trust and four charges of falsifying accounts. Sharon Tan was found guilty of three charges of criminal breach of trust and four charges of falsifying accounts.
Afer lodging an appeal, the appeals of six City Harvest Church will be heard over five days, from Sep 19 to Sep 23 this year. Both the prosecution, which called the sentences "manifestly inadequate", and the six convicted filed their appeals last year.
The six were convicted on Oct 21 last year, and sentenced on Nov 20 to between 21 months and eight years' jail, over charges of criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts.Senior pastor Kong Hee, the founder of the church, was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for criminal breach of trust, while former board member Chew Eng Han was given a sentence of six years and senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, five years and six months.
Serina Wee, former finance manager for the church, was handed a five-year jail term, while John Lam, the former secretary of the church's management board, was sentenced to three years' jail. Former finance manager Sharon Tan received the lightest sentence of 21 months' jail.
The five-day hearing will be presided over by Justices Chao Hick Tin, Chan Seng Oon and Woo Bih Li.