$50.6m: Amount of funds misused

A SHOCKING revelation: The figure was more than twice the one given on Tuesday for the amount of funds allegedly misused by City Harvest Church leaders.

At yesterday's court hearing, deputy public prosecutor Christopher Ong read out a laundry list of misappropriated funds that added up to a staggering $50.6 million.

This dwarfs the $23 million reported after the five were arrested on Tuesday.

Church founder Kong Hee, 47; his deputy, Tan Ye Peng, 39; church board member John Lam Leng Hung, 44; church investment manager Chew Eng Han, 52; and church financial manager Sharon Tan Shao Yuen, 36, looked on impassively as they stood in a row to hear their charges.

The courtroom was packed with Kong's supporters. An area normally cordoned off was opened up to accommodate them. Even so, not all of the 200 who turned up could get in, as a queue snaked outside the room.

The accused acknowledged their supporters by waving, but the mood got grimmer as the charges were read. All five were downcast as a dramatic silence enveloped those present.

The five faced varying charges, which relate to the alleged misuse of $24 million from the church's building fund between 2007 and 2008, largely to fund the music career of Madam Ho Yeow Sun, Kong's wife.

The money was mostly obtained from donations and allegedly used under the guise of investments. A year later, another $26.6 million was allegedly used to cover up the missing $24 million.

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