City Harvest church founder Kong Hee and four other church leaders were charged in court Wednesday morning for conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust as an agent.
Kong, who arrived in court at close to 9am today, was seen with wife Sun Ho.
A large crowd of about 200 supporters were seen outside the subordinate court before the hearing began at 9am.
This is the biggest case involving misconduct at a registered charity in Singapore.
Church funds amounting to at least $23 million were allegedly used to fund the secular music career of Kong's wife, pop singer Ho.
The case has been under investigation since 2010.
The others charged were: Tan Ye Peng, 39, vice-president of the church's management board; John Lam Leng Hung, 44, member of the management board; Chew Eng Han, in his 50s, the church's investment manager; and Sharon Tan Shao Yuen, 37, the church's finance manager.
The Straits Times reported that the five have been offered bail of $500,000 after their brief court appearance. Their passports were also impounded
Each of Kong's three criminal charges for committing criminal breach of trust as an agent carries the punishment of a life imprisonment term, or imprisonment for up to 20 years, and a fine.
John Lam also faced three similar charges.
Chew and Tan each faced 10 charges, six for criminal breach of trust and four for falsifying accounts whih draws the maximum 10-year jail term and/or fine.
Ms Tan was charged with four counts of falsifying accounts and three for committing criminal breach of trust as an agent.
They will return to court on July 25.
|City Harvest church founder, 4 others charged
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