City Harvest trial: $2.2 million New York apartment for Ho Yeow Sun
Published on Sep 4, 2013 7:51 PM
City Harvest co-founder Ho Yeow Sun was to receive a $2.2 million apartment in New York while she was recording her album there. Her United States manager Justin Herz was also to receive millions of dollars in church funds to boost her US career.
These details were revealed on Wednesday as the State sought to show how six church leaders allegedly funnelled almost $11 million in church funds to Ms Ho's career illegally through sham bonds issued by glassware firm Firna.
Grilling Firna owner and long-time church member Wahju Hanafi on the stand, the prosecution produced email after email in which one of the accused, Serina Wee, instructed Mr Hanafi on how to spend the church's bond investment money, with large sums going towards Mr Herz for Ms Ho's album and publicity.
Although Mr Hanafi admitted to following many of her instructions - excluding, however, the $2.2 million apartment deal - he insisted that he made the final decisions at the firm. He also claimed that he had two sources of money, one from the Firna bonds and another $8 million from his business deals in Papua New Guinea.
City Harvest founder Kong Hee and five of his deputies were charged last year with misusing about $50 million of church funds in total to finance Ms Ho's career as a way to evangelise, and to cover this up.