Buddhist monk charged with defrauding charity, forgery
Buddhist monk Ming Yi, chief of the Ren Ci hospital and a prominent religious leader, has been slapped with 10 criminal counts including defrauding the charity, forgery and helping to falsify its accounts, news reports said Wednesday. ( dpa )
The 46-year-old, whose real name is Goh Kah Heng, was also accused of forging documents to cheat auditors and giving false information to the Commissioner of Charities.
The sums involved totaled nearly 300,000 Singapore dollars (224,000 US dollars), The Straits Times said. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail for providing false information to the commission, and up to seven years for forgery.
The district court on Tuesday scheduled his next appearance for August 4.
Ren Ci is the second-largest charity under the Health Ministry involved in court proceedings following the National Kidney Foundation scandal that ended with former chief TT Durai going to prison.
Ren Ci, which has reserves of about 33.5 million Singapore dollars (25 million US dollars), ran large annual fund-raising shows, which garnered millions of dollars in donations. The highlight each year was a stunt performed by the flamboyant Ming Yi.
Ming Yi, abbot at a Geylang monastery as well as several temples in Malaysia and Hong Kong, has stepped down from all his positions at the hospital.
He was accused of trying to cover his tracks by showing investigators false documents, the report said, and allegedly conspired with two others to produce them.
Raymond Yeung Chi Hang, 33, Ming Yi's former personal executive, and David Phua Seow Hwa, 47, a manager at Ren Ci, were named as co-conspirators.