CHC trial: Worried staff brought up Ren Ci and NKF scams

CHC trial: Worried staff brought up Ren Ci and NKF scams
Auditor Foong denied suggesting that certain information be omitted from CHC's records.

SINGAPORE - What do the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and Ren Ci Hospital scandals have in common with financial goings-on at City Harvest Church (CHC)?

They were all mentioned in an internal e-mail, in which a church staff raised concerns about one of CHC's financial dealings, it emerged in court on Friday.

The State believes several CHC investments were a cover to misappropriate church money and funnel millions into the secular music career of Ms Ho Yeow Sun, wife of church founder Kong Hee, who is one of the six accused.

In a July 2008 e-mail to Kong, CHC employee Suraj - who goes by one name - referred to financial scandals at the NKF and Ren Ci Hospital. That was the month when Ren Ci's chief Shi Ming Yi was charged with misappropriation of funds and forgery before being found guilty and jailed.

Mr Suraj noted that the authorities "would go for the kill" when they started an investigation into a charity and "the crux" would be the charity's accounts, as was the case with Ren Ci and NKF.

"As I reflect on our accounts, I don't feel good about it," he wrote. The retainer fee to Xtron Productions, a company linked with the alleged misuse of church funds, was not "watertight", he noted.

"It's fundamentally incorrect, especially with corporate governance, to pay them when Sun is parked in the same firm," he wrote.

His e-mail came a year after the accused decided to use church money to buy bonds in Xtron, which managed Ms Ho's music career from 2003 to 2008, a transaction that the State believes is a sham.

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