City Harvest trial: Accused Serina Wee handled Xtron's accounts as church employee

Serina Wee, a leader of City Harvest Church, leaves the court during lunch break on Aug 26, 2013. Wee was handling music firm Xtron Productions' accounts and finances even when she was an employee of City Harvest Church, the state sought to show on T
Serina Wee, a leader of City Harvest Church, leaves the court during lunch break on Aug 26, 2013. Wee was handling music firm Xtron Productions' accounts and finances even when she was an employee of City Harvest Church, the state sought to show on Tuesday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

Serina Wee was handling music firm Xtron Productions' accounts and finances even when she was an employee of City Harvest Church, the state sought to show on Tuesday.

In fact, she was a church employee when she was involved in the plan for Xtron to issue bonds that are at the centre of the criminal trial against the church's leaders.

Questioning Xtron director Choong Kar Weng on the witness stand, the state noted that Wee was a church employee and was not on Xtron's payroll when she was involved in the company's discussions to issue the bonds.

Mr Choong said he had final say over the plan, and added: "Whether people are under payroll or not, I make a decision about who I trust. Serina was not officially Xtron's accountant but she was doing the accounts for Xtron. I really trusted her."

City Harvest founder Kong Hee and five of his deputies including Wee were charged last year with conspiring to cheat the church of millions of dollars. They allegedly misused $24 million of church funds to bankroll the music career of Kong's pop-singer wife Ho Yeow Sun, and then purportedly took another $26 million to cover up the first amount.

This was done by funnelling the church funds through two companies including Xtron, which managed Ms Ho between 2003 and 2008. As part of the misuse of funds, the companies issued bonds which the church invested in, the state said.