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City Harvest trial: Lam explains support for investment in Xtron

Belief in City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee's ability to make the Crossover Project a success was why investments were made in Xtron, said ex-board member John Lam. But the prosecution called Lam's version of events an "incredible story".

SINGAPORE: It was his belief in City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee's ability to make the Crossover Project a success that led to his support for the church's investment into "junk bonds", former church board member John Lam said in court on Tuesday (Aug 5).

Lam said the investments were made despite knowing that Xtron - the bond issuer and artiste manager for Sun Ho, the wife of Kong - was not profitable, and that Ms Ho's music albums were losing money.

The Crossover Project, fronted by Ms Ho, is the church's way of evangelism through secular pop music.

In its cross-examination of Lam, the prosecution called his version of events an "incredible story". They charged that Xtron bonds were simply a device to funnel money out of the church's building fund into Xtron, as the accused persons saw that they could draw on the building fund.

"The idea of using Xtron bonds was so it could be presented as an investment, and hide the fact that you were using building fund monies to fund Sun's career," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Mavis Chionh, adding that Lam, as a trusted member of the church, would have known this.

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