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Note of Gratitude from Mr. Chew Eng Han

Christmas is here, and yet another eventful year is coming to an end.
Before the new year arrives. I’d like to send a note of gratitude and blessing to everyone who has stood as a friend with me and my family. And that includes my brothers and sisters in Christ in our weekly fellowship group BBG, Pastor Yang and Daphne, Pastor Tim O Connell and Joanne, and many other friends and supporters from other churches and walks of life.

Thank you for standing for righteousness and truth. Thank you for extending help and prayers when the going got rough for me and my family. Your sincere love and earnest prayers for us have become a sweet aroma that’s pleasing unto our Father in heaven, and I pray that just as you have blessed us, you too will be abundantly blessed this Christmas and in the coming new year.

Wrongful Loss?

[Dear friend, See my reply in blue.

I have included my comments in blue. The Crossover was the church mission, and there was no personal gain. (Agreed statement of facts)

The trial judge found that there is no evidence of any wrongful gain.
To refresh your memory, below is an excerpt from the trail judge’s findings. 

I note that all of them believed that they had acted in what they considered to be the best interests of CHC. There is no evidence of any wrongful gain – that was never the prosecution’s case in any event as the charges were premised on wrongful loss caused to CHC through the misappropriation of CHC’s funds.] 

Dear Mrs Light

This is what I heard from Court on the case on Wrongful Loss. You can share this in your blog:

JC (Justice Chan) asked CO (Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong, not Cross Over) if it’s a case of wrongful loss where there’s no more funds as the whole lot of funds were expended into something else and so no church were built. And whatever they did, they intended to deplete the funds and would have know that no church could be built.
CO replied that all these amounted to wrongful loss.

But JC asked what is exactly wrongful and asked CO to define it.
CO referred to trial Judge See’s finding that wrongful loss is that they took money out from the BF (Building Fund) to spend on the CP (Crossover Project) or to do the round-tripping, that money was then no longer in the BF or General Fund in the case of the round-trip. Therefore money was no longer available to the church for the purposes that it was meant to be used for.  Basically the church is deprived of those funds because those funds have been used for other purposes. 

[Judge of Appeal Chao quoted an example. In this example, he asked DPP Christopher Ong how would he interpret it and if there was a CBT.

Example
A gives B $10 for a specific purpose to get something. Along the way, he sees a woman and a child in poor condition begging.

DPP replied that it was a clear CBT. He associated this example to being Robin Hood.
Robin would still be convicted despite his good intentions as he ultimately caused a loss.

From what I heard in the court, this is what I caught and my own inference.
I would think that what he was saying is the appellants already have the knowledge of the restriction imposed upon the Building Fund, but they have used the Building Fund for the Crossover. If they used the money for this purpose, that money is deemed to have gone out of the church.
So, the church has been deprived of the money to which it is legally entitled to. Whatever good motive is not important as the legal definition of dishonesty has been fulfilled. It is CBT.

Justice Woo divided the argument into some logical questions:
1. Is there a loss?
2. Is it wrongful loss?
3. Did they know or intend to cause the loss?

The DPP believed all three to be affirmative as the church has been deprived of the money it is legally entitled to. This is due to the decrease in the Building Fund balance. ]

JW (Justice Woo) asked:

Is there a loss? And prosecution is saying temporary deprivation, with or without profit, is still a loss.
But is it a wrongful loss? That would depend on whether you can use money in these bonds, etc and that leads to the question of whether it is genuine investment, etc.
If wrongful use has been established, the next very important question is did they have knowledge that it is wrongful? Then the question of intention comes in.

To the judges, the real question is still whether what they did amounted to a real investment. This raises the question of projection. Are those projections real, realistic? That’s when the contemporaneous evidence will be important.

JA Chao pointed that the court accepted that if the investment went directly to JH (Justin Hertz), there would have been no problem. CO replied that that would depend on whether the purpose of investing in JH company fell within the restrictions of the investment policy.

[Judge of Appeal Chao quoted trial Judge’s finding in para 156. Below is an excerpt from the trail judge’s findings. 

I am prepared to accept that it would have been a genuine investment, and therefore an authorised use of the BF, to have pumped money directly into Justin’s company for the purposes of the Crossover. But in my view it does not follow that the Xtron bonds were a genuine investment even if the ultimate purpose is the same, that is, to fund the Crossover. The material difference between the two situations is not simply a matter of form; the difference of substance is that, in the case of the direct investment into Justin’s company, Kong Hee and the relevant co-accused would be relinquishing any control over the BF monies that they might have had as CHC leaders and staff, whereas in the case of the Xtron bonds they were putting those monies within their complete control. 

So when comes to the argument of investment policy. Prosecution’s case is the investment policy is drafted to facilitate the sham bonds. 

Defence argument is the CHC constitution expressly gave the board the power to invest surplus funds. This means even the funds is in a Building Fund, if the board considers that a certain amount is surplus, it can invest. Mr Foong Daw Ching was the chairman of the task force programme known as social investments.  His advice was for good order draft an investment policy. The investment policy is drafted for good order.

SC Maniam says, “If they had evil intention, they should have done nothing or they should have been advised to do nothing.”]

CO think that the existence of projections is neither here nor there. He thinks the court should look more into the internal projections. (Meaning the 200,000 album sales projection) [No more 200,000 copies argument.  There are many other objective evidence that shows other projections.]  

To the prosecutor, just because there are projections doesn’t make it a genuine investment because the projections can be done in support of their conspiracy. [This is prosecutor's position]
CO also said that there is no evidence that the church members supported the financing of the CP using church funds.

Kenneth Tan, defence for John Lam later replied to the question would the members still support the CP when actually told about the details of the investment. He pointed out that in the agreed statement of facts on 1 Aug 2010 EOGM, the members were told that BF were used for Xtron and Firna Bonds. And the members approved to continue with the CP and authorize the Board to support the mission of the church. He said that was after all the adverse publicity after the CAD and the members still supported it.

[The DPP position is that the appellants are not remourseful in their actions and continue to come up with excuses for their actions. The meeting on 1 Aug 2010, the appellants did not give the full picture to the EMs.]

Since we are still on this issue about Wrongful Loss, I might as well shared something related to that. Did TYP, CEH, SW and ST intended any loss to happen through payment of the GST?

Defence of TYP and ST brought up to the 3 judges that the issue of GST was only brought up for the first time by the prosecution when the 6th accused took the stand. The others were not cross examined on that point. Thus CEH and Sreeni objected during the cross exam at the Sub Court. At that point of time, judge See stepped in and said that he don’t think that the prosecution is saying that they intended to misappropriate. And so, they left it as that. But when it came to the verdict and summary, GST was ruled to be misappropriated.

Besides asking that this finding on GST be disregarded, Paul Seah, the defence for Sharon also went on to explain that GST was duly and rightfully paid as it was not a false transaction because Xtron did provide the Expo premises under the ARLA.

[The prosecution case is that the round tripping accused wanted to remove the bonds (the track) without the auditors knowing that it was done using the church’s own funds.

The trial judge found that the ARLA was not genuine transaction, therefore GST was ruled to be the wrongful loss.

In Eng Han’s EIC he has submitted to the court that, the auditors have a fair and true view of the restructure of debts, and the church funded Xtron in the form of the ARLA, and that Xtron has refinanced Firna. (read my archive)

On September 16, Eng Han reiterated the point on what the auditors can see.

Chew says, “When we did a round-trip, the question is did the auditors then think that the Building Fund was no longer applied to the Crossover?  The answer is “no”, because the bonds were just simply replaced by the ARLA. The ARLA came from City Harvest Church Building Fund.”

If the tracks were supposed to be that the Building Fund was used for the Crossover. He has not covered anything.

Chew says, “I think if I really wanted to conspire to do all these things, this was the worst thought-out conspiracy ever.”

Judge of Appeal Chao agreed with his point on worst thought-out conspiracy. ]

email

What was not reported

Dear Mrs Light,

I have been following the CHC trial closely and attended quite a number of sessions, especially the recent Appeal by the 6 accused [appellants].

There are a quite a number of relevant questions, important facts and contemporaneous evidences presented in the hearing not reported by the press:

- Christopher Ong used an analogy of the Ferrari car to tell the court how the church members were not told that Building Fund were used for the Crossover. This made sense until I got to hear that very same morning that it’s in the agreed statement of fact that the members were told in the August 2010 EOGM that Building Fund were used for the Crossover project. Not only the EM ratified it but they also approved to continue with the crossover project and authorize the Board to support the mission on behalf of the church. This was after the CAD raid.

- After CEH[Chew Eng Han] or Maniam[appeal for Serina Wee] or both of them pointed out that the Constitution allowed the Board to make decision in the investment of Building Fund in whatever may it deemed to be in the best interest of the church, Judge Chan asked if the Constitution empowered the accused to invest without constriction. Yet, by setting up the Investment Policy, it actually constricted them to certain parameters of investment. To me, this is quite an important fact and could determine if John Lam is really the Inside Man as the Prosecution made him out to be.

- CEH read out from the Constitution that the Board is entitled to invest via a nominee. So in my understanding, even if Xtron (nominee) is actually controlled by KH who is acting for the church project, how did control become an issue.

- CEH came up with an interesting concept of what misappropriation means to the public and this resonates to me as a common lay man. Since there is no legal definition of misappropriation, so we rely on the meaning of the dictionary that basically says that misappropriation is depriving the owner of his entitled benefit when you used it for your own benefit. But in this case, all the funds were used for the benefit of the church. He is asking how is it misappropriation from his understanding as a common man. Thus, to him the objective and subjective test of the dishonest misappropriation charges are wrong. It should not be “wrong use = misappropriation = dishonesty”. For the test to stand, it should be theft = misappropriation = dishonesty. And he didn’t steal any money. Instead he said he gave more than $1M and did not charge any fees for the bonds as he is a giver and not a thief.

- Another interesting point to note on the last day of the Appeal. Christopher Ong now said that there is indirect benefit to KH[Kong Hee], being the husband of SH[Sun Ho]. CEH brought up to the Judges that the Prosecutors kept changing their position. CEH had in fact open the gate for them and Judge See to probe into personal gain in the earlier trail but they did nothing to follow up. Now on the last day of the Appeal, they are flip flopping on their position to say there is indirect benefit to KH.

-And lastly, to be fair to KH although I am no supporter of him, his lawyer did produce quite a number of contemporaneous evidence of third party professional assessment of SH with comprehensive and meticulous business plan and sales projection for profit. This was what the 3 judges wanted to see.

I am disappointed to note that the press wrote little, if not at all on the above relevant info, so as to give the public a fair and objective knowledge of what was being heard in the court. I am glad that I am able to attend the court hearing and listen for myself the key arguments of both the Prosecutor and Defence.

I am still figuring out no wonder this is such an odd conspiracy and without precedence, according to the Judges. It’s not a case of the conspirators running away with the money. But one of the basis of the charges is that they are responsible for ensuring that the money comes back to the church.

Mrs Light, if you can check the past trial record for me.
Christopher Ong said on the last day of Appeal that the accused scrambled to put money back as restitution after the CAD raid started. Somehow, I remembered from the previous trial that portions of the money were already paid before the CAD raid?

All I seek as a interested public is a fair trail and a balanced and responsible report.

Thank you.

[Mrs Light’s reply: You can search my old post from my Archives. Choose “September 2014”. You have good memory. What you said was during Kong Hee’s cross-examination days.

ALRA was formally terminated on 31 March 2010.

The CAD raid happened after the ARLA rescinded. All the money was back to the church before the 6 appellants were charged.

DPP position is that the termination of the ALRA flows from the purchase of Suntec as well as Kong’s concerns over the bloggers.

Kong position is that because the advance rental was fully repaid, when the ARLA was rescinded, no loss has been suffered by the church in relation to the debts that first started out as the Xtron and Firna bonds.]

Police Report on Cheating Case – Part 2

“Human error happens in every religious organizations all over the world, what is important & precious is that Faith is still residing in you, a man of faith is hard to come by, keep strong!”
The person who wrote this on Eng Han’s Facebook wall is not a Christian, but at least he sees faith in him and not bitterness.

On July 29 2016, 1 more couple lodged a police report with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) against some people for conspiracy to cheat and for misuse of church funds from City Harvest Church (“CHC”). Now there are 4 spirit-filled believers that have reported to the CAD. In my opinion, they are not bitter. They lean on God and definitely know what they are doing.

When you see “lying religion” cheating men in life and robbing loved ones in death, where is your holy indignation?

For those who has said Eng Han is bitter, I am not trying to be defensive. Please ask God why there are 3 more people (excluding Eng Han) that came forward to report a criminal case. Why have some of the CHC Ex-Board members left the church?

My prayers go out to you if you are hurt by these 4 people’s actions.

 

No Spirit of Confusion in my house

When I was still attending City Harvest Church (CHC), Kong Hee and the CGLs emphasized so much on the spirit of excellence. However, it appears to be missing now.

See the “Quicklinks” tab on the left. “14 Apr 2016 Message to Congregation”

Quicklink The message to the congregation was dated on 14 Apr 2016. The content of the message is addressing the future events in July 2016.

Let’s read the content of the message.
Executive Pastor Bobby Chaw states in point (d) that Mr. Chew’s indication that he was seeking to recover financial damage… via a civil suit…. Mr Chew had instead lodged a criminal report with Commercial Affairs Department against 8 individuals connected with CHC. No criminal complaint has been made against the church.

point (e) message says that, “On 13 July 2016, JLC and CHC were contacted by a reporter from one of the mainstream media agencies for their comments on Mr. Chew’s CAD complaint. However, we were unable to do so, given that neither CHC nor JLC have actually seen the complaint…”

point (f) message says that, “Given that the CAD complaint seems to arise from the same facts as Mr Chew’s allegations, it appears that the matters raised in his latest complaint have already been raised in the ongoing criminal and civil proceedings. The appeals in relation to the criminal proceedings and part of the civil suit are to be heard over the next two months.”

I pause here NOTE my highlighted portions.
point (d) – No criminal complaint has been made against the church.
point (e) – Neither CHC nor JLC have actually seen the content of the complaint.
point (f) – ‘seems to’ and ‘it appears that’

After reading the message to the CHC congregation, the message seems that and appears to me that it’s a confusing statement. Firstly, the message alleged that Mr. Chew was seeking to recover financial damages via a civil suit, but instead he complained to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD). In point (e) the church and the lawyer have not seen the contents of the complaint, so what they have written seemed to contradict the points.

Truth -> There is another anonymous person that recorded a statement.

What did Eng Han and the anonymous person report?
It should remain as confidential. I have friends asking me some questions such as
1. Who is the anonymous person?
2. Is the content of any relation to the criminal proceedings and part of the civil suit?

I want to be truthful. I can’t tell you the details of the content but I can tell you this is a FRESH complaints against FRESH individuals for FRESH dishonest acts!

As police investigations are confidential, I am sure CAD will protect the identity and content of what was being reported.

Lastly I want to say civil suit means civil suit. Criminal means criminal. Confidential means confidential, under investigation means under investigation.
There is no spirit of confusion in my house.