Singapore church queries police report

The Star Online, Malaysia/July 16, 2016

Singapore -- The City Harvest megachurch (CHC) has questioned a fresh police report by its former fund ma­na­ger Chew Eng Han alleging fraudulent misrepresentation against eight church members.

CHC executive pastor Bobby Chaw said that as Chew had not raised any facts to substantiate his allegations, the church’s lawyers were of the view that these were “nothing more than ‘bare’ allegations”.

On Monday, Chew, 56, made a report with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) alleging eight church leaders – including founding pastor Kong Hee and his wife, singer-pastor Ho Yeow Sun – conspired to cheat and misuse church funds.

Chew is one of six former and current CHC leaders who were convicted last year of financial fraud. He is also involved in a civil suit with CHC, in which the church is alleging he owes them S$21mil (RM61.4mil) in unreturned investments.

Chew, Kong and four other church leaders were found guilty of misusing around S$50mil (RM146.3mil) of church funds. The money was used as part of a plot to further the music career of Ho. They were jailed between 21 months and eight years.

The six have appealed against their sentences and convictions. The appeal will be heard in September.

When contacted, the police confirmed a fresh report was lodged by Chew.

In the new complaint, Chew is alleging that the eight had misrepresented facts to induce church members to donate generously.

Chaw said Chew had e-mailed the church’s lawyers on June 30 notifying them that he intended to take up a civil suit against CHC for “various fraudulent misrepresentations which had allegedly caused or induced him to give his efforts and money to CHC”.

“Chew claimed that he had suffered ‘financial damage which is recoverable via a civil suit’ and that he was also ‘seeking advice’ on the other possible steps that he could take,” he said.

“Given that the CAD complaint seems to arise from the same facts as Chew’s allegations, it appears that the matters raised in his latest complaint have already been raised in the on­­going criminal and civil proceedings.

“While we don’t know at this point what CAD will decide, the management and employees of CHC will continue to render our fullest co­­opera­tion to the authorities, if called upon.” — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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