When the prosperity Gospel makes believers look like Zombies : Singapore City Harvest Church Pastor facing ‘allegations’ of Using Church Funds to Finance Wife’s Pop Music Career
Charities watchdog acts to oust City Harvest leadershttp://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2013/04/charities-watchdog-acts-to-oust-city.html
Singapore megachurch founder on trial for 'stealing more than $40million to fund his wife's American pop star dream'http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449010/Singapore-megachurch-founder-trial-stealing-40million-fund-wifes-American-pop-star-dream.html#ixzz2hOcUVNoH
By Rachel Quigley
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:
A Christian evangelical pastor is on trial accused of stealing more than $40million from the megachurch he founded to fund his wife's dreams of being a pop star in the U.S.
Kong Hee, 47, the pastor and founder of the 20,000-strong City Harvest Church in Singapore is gripped in the scandal along with five other officials for an alleged scheme of trying to siphon off almost $20million.
They then allegedly spent another $20million trying to cover the embezzlement up.
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Kong Hee, right, and his wife, Sun Ho, left, founded the 20,000-strong City Harvest Church in Singapore
Accused: City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee, right, with his pop-singer wife Ho Yeow Sun, left, leave the district courts in Singapore in August after a hearing for the embezzlement scandal
Devoted: Although Ho Sun has not been charged with anything, she has been by her husband's side since he was arrested last year
She founded the megachurch with her husband in 1989 and moved to LA in 2009 to launch her English-language singing career.
But her husband's arrest last year on charges of fraud and criminal breach of trust shattered her dreams of having a U.S. pop career, though she has not been charged with any crime.
Ironically, some of her music videos on YouTube have garnered a lot of hits since the scandal came to light, with her Wyclef Jean collaboration attracting more than one million views.
In another video, the reggae-tinged 'Mr Bill', she plays a skimpily-clad Asian wife who calls herself a geisha and sings about killing her African-American husband, played by the male supermodel Tyson Beckford, AFP reports.
All star: $1.6 million was spent on production fees for Wyclef Jean to appear in Sun Ho's music video - money that was allegedly taken from the church
Ho dancing on her video: The church claims Ho's career is part of a 'crossover' campaign to spread God's word to the secular world via her music
Big Spenders: Evidence presented in court showed more than $10 million was earmarked for Ho's
marketing, which is 'in line with Shakira's marketing budget and less than the budget for Beyonce'
Evidence presented in court showed more than $10 million was earmarked in the church’s budget for Ho’s marketing which was 'in line with Shakira’s marketing budget and less than the budget for Beyonce'.
The charges followed a two-year police investigation sparked by local media reports that depicted Ho's lavish lifestyle, and drew attention to his $20,000-a-month Los Angeles mansion.
Prosecutors claim Kong and his employees channeled money collected by the church to build a new facility into sham bonds in church-linked companies – a scam known as 'round-tripping', Opposing Views report.
Church accounts were then allegedly falsified to make it appear as though those bonds were redeemed. All of the six men accused deny the charges.
The trial is set to resume in January 2014.