The prosecution put to Serina Wee that Foong Daw Ching would not give “improper” advice to the accused; Wee maintained that not only did Foong advise them as such, but that she did not think the advice given was improper.
In an email written by Serina Wee which contained advice allegedly given by auditor Foong Daw Ching, the court saw that Foong had told the accused not to minute down everything during meetings so as not to “paint the picture” that City Harvest Church controlled Xtron.
When he was on the stand in 2013, Foong claimed that he gave no such advice; he said would not have told anyone to do any “improper” thing by suggesting that the accused misrepresent the relationship CHC had with Xtron.
Wee refuted Foong’s testimony. She told the court that the then-managing director of Baker Tilly had in fact told the accused what to do with minutes of the two entities to keep them at arm’s length, adding that she did not feel Foong’s advice had been improper.
The prosecution called this an extrapolation of what Foong had told her which she used to justify maintaining the appearance that CHC and Xtron were independent entities dealing at an arm’s length basis.
This morning, the court saw an Xtron bond recoverability report that showed Xtron would be able to redeem the $18m amended bonds in 10 years. Wee explained that she had prepared this for an Investment Committee meeting called to address auditor’s queries.
The report projected rental to be received from the Riverwalk property as well as Xtron’s retainer fees. The cashflow showed that Xtron would not only have been able to redeem the $18m bonds plus interest, it would have a surplus of $4m. The prosecution, however, took issue with Wee not factoring in the report a bank mortgage taken up by Xtron for the Riverwalk property.
The former church finance manager and Xtron accountant explained the mortgage had not been reflected in the church’s meeting minutes. She told the court this was consistent the church leaving unrelated matters such as Xtron’s transactions out of its board minutes. This was also consistent with Foong’s advice to only minute church-related transactions.
The prosecution then hypothesized that the report excluded the bank loans to so that the executive members of the church would not know about the loan. Wee disagreed, pointing out that the report was only meant for the investment committee members and they already knew about the bank loan.
The prosecution further suggested that the bank loan would affect Xtron’s ability to repay the bonds. Again Wee disagreed. She said that Xtron’s cashflow showed that it would have been able to redeem the bonds and repay the bank loan in 10 years.
The prosecution theorised that Wee, along with the other co-accused did not tell the executive members about the bank mortgages so that they did not need to reveal $13m had been used for the Crossover Project. The DPP added that the ABSA (amended bond subscription agreement) and the purchase of the Riverwalk property were planned as schemes to extend the maturity of the original $13m Xtron bonds.
Wee disagreed, stating that the members were not told as the church preferred to keep the source of the Crossover Project funding discreet, and that the ABSA and the purchase of the Riverwalk property were not “schemes” but we’re in fact genuine transactions.
Cross-examination continues tomorrow at 9.30am.
中文报道 – 城市丰收审讯：黄玉音不相信审计师提供不正当建议