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City Harvest trial: Defence says auditors knew church funds went to Ho's career

Published on Jan 15, 2014 1:42 PM
 
Auditors of City Harvest Church, including Ms Tiang Yii (pictured), had been kept in the loop about the use of church funds, defence lawyers said on Jan 15, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Auditors of City Harvest Church had been kept in the loop about the use of church funds, defence lawyers said on Tuesday.

They produced e-mails showing that Ms Tiang Yii, a partner at auditing firm Baker Tilly, had been told about the use of the church's building fund to finance the singing career of Ms Ho Yeow Sun, wife of church founder Kong Hee. The prosecution believes that this was an abuse of the fund.

Questioned by defence lawyers, Ms Tiang said she was aware of the various transactions that channelled the money from the church to music production firm Xtron Productions, which managed Ms Ho, but said she could not comment on whether this was an abuse of church funds as she was not the church's auditor for the relevant period.

She had audited City Harvest for the period January 2006 to June 2007, whereas the relevant transactions started only in August 2007. The Baker Tilly auditor who vetted those transactions was Mr Sim Guan Seng, who had raised repeated concerns about the church monies going to Xtron. He is one of the prosecution's upcoming witnesses.