Fund misuse complaint traumatised church leaders

Fund misuse complaint traumatised church leaders

SINGAPORE - All he did was plug the gaps - just as he was told - on an ad-hoc basis.

So claimed former City Harvest Church (CHC) board member John Lam Leng Hung as the trial against him and five others from the mega church resumed yesterday.

Six church leaders, including CHC founder Kong Hee, are accused of misusing more than $50 million of church money through sham bonds.

Some of this money was allegedly used to fund the music career of Kong's wife, pop singer Sun Ho.

But on Monday, Lam's lawyer, Mr Kenneth Tan, moved to distance his client from "prosecution's case ... that Mr John Lam was part of a plan, an unholy design, to dishonestly misuse church funds to personally benefit Sun Ho".

Mr Tan said in his opening statement that all Lam did was attend meetings and suddenly be asked to look at e-mails. Lam, 46, is an accountant who was a church volunteer.

"There are these plans which he was not part of.

He's only there on an ad-hoc basis. "(Mostly) it was consolidation and impairment, and it was from that context alone that he had information in relation to the investments," said the lawyer.

Lam told the court that one of the accused, Chew Eng Han, had sat him down in June 2007 and informed him of his decision to quit his job and the board.

Chew would take on a new role as the church's fund manager.

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