Sunday, May 24, 2015Sunday, May 24, 2015
Trial of City Harvest Church leaders resumes


Profiles of the six people

Name: Kong Hee

Who he is: Founder and senior pastor of City Harvest Church

Background: Pastor Kong founded the church with his wife Ho Yeow Sun in 1989. He is currently the senior pastor of the congregation, which numbers at over 23,000. Two years ago, the way he ran his church and used the funds raised came into question when the CAD launched a probe on the alleged misuse of church funds and financial transactions which involved 'several individuals and companies, related or connected' to the church.

Name: Chew Eng Han

Who he is: Church board member

Background: Mr Chew is a shareholder in the Business Breakthrough Group, which City Harvest started in 2003 as an 'outreach to the marketplace', according to the church website. In 2005, he was the key person behind City Harvest's move to Suntec Singapore.

Name: Sharon Tan Shao Yuen

Who she is: Finance manager with City Harvest Church

Background: Very little is known about her as she is usually not in the limelight.

Name: Tan Ye Peng

Who he is: Founding member and senior pastor of City Harvest Church

Background: Mr Tan has long been involved in community service. He is also the founder of City Care, a social enterprise related to the church.

Name: John Lam Leng Hung

Who he is: Former secretary of the church's management board

Background: Mr Lam had been involved with City Harvest church since the 1990s when he managed the church's renovation at its old premises at the former Hollywood cinema at Tanjong Katong Road in 1995. The project cost the church more than $1 million. He was quoted as saying then the church leaders believed that it was a good investment at the time.

Name: Serina Wee Gek Yin

Who she is: Former finance manager with City Harvest Church

Background: Ms Wee used to manage the church’s funds before starting her own business. It is uncertain if she still attends service at City Harvest Church but she was an active member for more than 10 years.

SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church finance manager Sharon Tan broke down on the stand on Friday, even as she conceded that information she had inserted into church board meeting minutes may have deceived auditors.
Singapore- More than two years after she was charged in 2012, City Harvest Church (CHC) finance manager Sharon Tan said on Friday she still does not know why.
A smiley face emoticon which one accused e-mailed another came under the spotlight in the City Harvest Church trial yesterday.
Even though she was the finance manager of City Harvest Church (CHC), Sharon Tan consulted her predecessor, Serina Wee, for matters relating to the church's investment in Xtron Productions, the court heard yesterday.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee choked up a few times on the stand on Thursday as he told the court how investigations into financial irregularities at the church had affected his young son.
The auditors of City Harvest Church would have been fully aware of all its links to the music production company that church officials are accused of using as a vehicle to misuse church funds.
CITY Harvest founder Kong Hee wanted to hide the church's transactions with Xtron to avoid questions from the authorities, the prosecution said yesterday.
Former Xtron accountant Serina Wee deceived her own brother to hide what was really happening between her firm and City Harvest Church.
City Harvest founder Kong Hee insisted that there was nothing fishy about plans to pay Xtron $2 million of the church's money to fund, among other things, a promotion blitz for the American album of his wife, Ms Ho Sun Yeow.
When $300,000 was needed for, among other things, a party in the upmarket Hamptons area in New York to promote his wife's music career, City Harvest founder Kong Hee gave the go ahead.
City Harvest founder Kong Hee knew that his wife's American album was not going to amount to enough - with a projected sale of just 200,000 copies.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee admitted on Tuesday that, as far as he knew, there was no record of the church's management board approving a $13 million investment into Xtron Productions, the firm that managed his wife Ho Yeow Sun's music career.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee had asked for name cards stating that he was the "managing director" of Xtron Productions, the company that managed his wife Ho Yeow Sun's music career.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee claimed that his wife Ho Yeow Sun's artist management firm Xtron Productions was independent from the church. Yet he was listed as an "invisible" manager in the firm, while the church's chief operations officer Suraj was its "ghost" director.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee was the key decision-maker behind plans to sink church funds into his wife's Ho Yeow Sun's music career in the United States, the prosecution said in court on Wednesday.
SINGAPORE - City Harvest founder Kong Hee did not love his church members and was "not that concerned about the church suffering losses", alleged former church treasurer Chew Eng Han as he completed his cross-examination of Kong on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE - The music success of City Harvest pastor-singer Ho Yeow Sun had been grossly exaggerated, former church treasurer Chew Eng Han said in court on Monday.
SINGAPORE - Former City Harvest treasurer Chew Eng Han called Kong Hee, the church founder, a liar in the first five minutes of trial today
SINGAPORE - City Harvest Church would have openly and directly funded the Crossover Project if former church investment manager Chew Eng Han had his way.


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The woman at the centre of the investigation

Name: Ho Yeow Sun, also known as Sun Ho

Who she is: Co-founder of City Harvest Church, and the wife of founder Kong Hee.

Background: Ho has been married to Kong Hee for 20 years. The couple told The New Paper in a report in 2010 that they 'got married first and then did the courting and romancing later'.

Ms Ho was a constant presence beside her husband when their church took off, and counselled troubled teens at City Harvest Community Services Association, a group she founded. She later resigned from her duties in the church in 2003 to become a singer, but continued to be involved in fund-raising activities for the church.

Ms Ho does charity work and was named Ambassador Of Love by the China Children's Foundation after donating 600,000 yuan (S$123,000) to help build schools in Beijing and Chongqing. The Chinese government designed a series of stamps featuring her to thank her for her donation, making her reportedly the first foreigner to be accorded the honour. In 2005, she opened a street wear boutique, SKIN Couture, at Marina Square. She later opened two more shops at The Heeren Shops and Great World City.

Ms Ho has been based largely in the United States since 2003 to pursue her music career. Since then, she has released several singles in the US including chart-topping dance numbers such as One With You, Without Love and Fancy Free, and living in a Los Angeles US$20,000-a-month property for at least a year.

Five of Ms Ho's English singles have made it into the top 10 of Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs, with four of them going on to clinch the top spot and the fifth making it to second place. Each single stayed on the charts for between 13 and 16 weeks.