Singapore's megachurch CITY Harvest Church (CHC)'s founder and senior pastor Kong Hee has been sentenced to eight years' jail for his role in misusing millions of church funds, on Friday (Nov. 20). All six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders were sentenced to between 21 months and eight years' jail on Friday (Nov 20).
The leaders were accused of misappropriating $24 million in church funds, funnelling them into bogus investments that funded the singing career of the pastor's wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun. Later, a further $26 million was used to cover their tracks.
Senior pastor Kong Hee was sentenced to eight years in prison.
John Lam, former secretary of the church's management board, was sentenced to three years in prison.
Sharon Tan, former finance manager, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
Board member Chew Eng Han was sentenced to six years in prison.
Senior pastor Tan Ye Peng was sentenced to five years and six months in prison.
Serina Wee, former finance manager, was sentenced to five years in prison.
In a Facebook message by the church to its members, this is what is being communicated:
Today in court, Judge See Kee Oon delivered the following sentences on the six in the CHC case:
8 years for Pastor Kong
5 years 6 months for Pastor Tan
5 years for Serina
3 years for John
21 months for Sharon, and
6 years for Chew Eng Han.
After discussion with their lawyers, all six have asked for the start of their sentences to be deferred to after Christmas. The judge has agreed to this, setting the date at 11 January 2016. All six also told the court that they are still contemplating appealing against the convictions and/or sentences. Bail has been extended for all six.
We want to thank each and every one of you, our church members, for demonstrating such strength and unity throughout all these years, and particularly in these last few extremely difficult months. We ask you to remember and hold close to your heart the call of God upon City Harvest Church. We have learned lately what it means to have faith, trust and rest in God-let us put what we have learned to practice. Let's band together to fulfill the heavenly calling for us through CHC 2.0.
Let us continue to pray for the six and their families as they prepare for this next step in the legal process. May God grant them grace and the peace that surpasses understanding.
Pastor Aries Zulkarnain
Pastor Bobby Chaw