It'll take up to '116 years' to cover cost of Ho's album

It'll take up to '116 years' to cover cost of Ho's album

City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee wanted to know how long it would take to pay back the money invested in his wife's English album.

So accountant Serina Wee was asked to calculate the duration based on a projected sale of 100,000 copies.

The answer shown yesterday in a 2008 e-mail: Up to 116 years.

But former CHC finance manager Wee, 38, told the court that it was just a scenario planning exercise.

"It's a ridiculous scenario, totally unrealistic... unworkable," she said, adding that she had only crunched the numbers because Kong had asked for it.

Wee, Kong and four others are on trial for misusing millions of church money.

First, $24 million was allegedly misused from the church building fund to finance singer-pastor Ho Yeow Sun's music career, before $26.6 million was said to be used to cover up the initial amount.

This was allegedly done through sham bonds invested in two "shell companies", Xtron Productions and Firna.

By 2008, about $10 million had been drawn down from the Xtron bond.

'PRUDENT'

Wee yesterday maintained that she and her co-accused had always relied on prudent and conservative projections.

But she had full faith that Ms Ho's English album would be successful and profitable.

She pointed out in another 2008 e-mail that American accountants - whom she claimed were experts in the US entertainment industry and who were engaged by Ms Ho's producer, Mr Justin Herz - had projected that her album would rake in a profit of $26 million.

Ms Ho's album was never produced.

The trial continues on April 27.


This article was first published onApril 18, 2015.
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