Singapore’s City Harvest Church scandal: Sixth person charged
SINGAPORE, July 26 — Former City Harvest Church (CHC) Finance Director Serina Wee Gek Yin yesterday became the sixth senior member from the mega-church to be charged with misappropriating funds.
The 35-year-old faces 10 counts in all. Six were for criminal breach of trust by an agent, involving some S$50 million (RM122.5 million), and the remaining four were for falsifying accounts.
The monies were allegedly pilfered to fund songstress Sun Ho's pop career, as well as provide funds to a church donor. Wee is accused of cooking the books subsequently to cover up the missing sum.
The offences carry the maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine. The punishment for falsifying accounts is jail of up to 10 years, or a fine, or both.
According to court documents, Wee allegedly conspired to illegally transfer S$24 million from CHC's Building Fund to XTron Productions and PT The First National Glassware between Aug 23, 2007, and June 19, 2009.
Then, to “generate the false appearance that certain purported investments ... had been redeemed”, she is said to have disbursed some S$26.6 million from CHC's Building Fund to investment manager Chew Eng Han's AMAC Capital Partners and XTron Productions. The four charges relating to the falsification of CHC accounts occurred between April 9 and Oct 2, 2009.
Wee, who had given birth recently, is accused of conspiring with Finance Manager Sharon Tan Shao Yuen, 37, to have Assistant Accountant Dua Poh Teng record false entries in CHC's accounts. Ms Dua has not been charged.
With the exception of founder Kong Hee, 47, who is represented by lawyer and Member of Parliament Edwin Tong, the others – former CHC Chairman John Lam Leng Hung, 44, Vice-Chairman Tan Ye Peng, 39, Chew, 52, Wee and Sharon Tan – have all engaged Senior Counsel to defend them, as their cases were collectively fixed for a pre-trial conference on Aug 30.
All six accused persons are out on S$500,000 bail each. None of them entered a plea yesterday.
Wee, Chew and Tan Ye Peng face the most charges – 10 each – while the others each face three charges.
In a statement issued yesterday by his lawyers, Kong reiterated that he maintains his integrity and “will rigorously defend that integrity against these charges”.
He added that he will “explain the facts and circumstances to the court”. — Today