Former City Harvest Church leader Tan Ye Peng released from jail

Former City Harvest Church leader Tan Ye Peng was jailed for his role in the largest case of misuse of charitable funds in Singapore's history.
Former City Harvest Church leader Tan Ye Peng was jailed for his role in the largest case of misuse of charitable funds in Singapore's history.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former City Harvest Church (CHC) leader Tan Ye Peng, who was jailed for his role in the largest case of misuse of charitable funds in Singapore's history, has been released from prison.

The Singapore Prison Service confirmed with The Straits Times on Saturday (June 8) that Mr Tan, 46, was released from custody on June 1 after taking remission into account.

The former deputy senior pastor was sentenced to three years and two months' jail for misappropriating millions in church funds. He started his sentence on April 21, 2017.

Inmates are typically given one-third remission of their jail terms for good behaviour.

He is the fourth of six former CHC leaders to complete his sentence, with church founder Kong Hee and former fund manager Chew Eng Han still in jail.

Former finance manager Sharon Tan, who was given seven months in jail, former finance committee member John Lam, who was given 18 months in jail, and former finance manager Serina Wee, who was sentenced to 2½ years, were released earlier.

The leaders had channelled $24 million from the church's building fund into sham bond investments to fund the pop career of founder-pastor Kong Hee's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun.

They then devised a series of "round-tripping" transactions to throw auditors off the track by misappropriating a further $26 million.

 
 
 

In 2015, the six were given jail terms ranging from 21 months to eight years for criminal breach of trust.

But in 2017, their jail terms were slashed to between seven months and 3½ years, after a three-judge High Court ruled that they were guilty of a less serious form of criminal breach of trust.

Kong, who got the longest sentence, could be released around August if remission is taken into account.

Chew was nabbed at sea in February last year, a day before he was to begin serving his jail term of three years and four months.

He was given an additional jail term of 13 months in January for attempting to leave Singapore illegally and attempting to defeat the course of justice. He will serve that sentence after completing his earlier one.

Three people linked to Chew's escape bid were dealt with in court last year.