S.Korea church leader faces embezzlement probe

| September 21, 2011

SEOUL — Prosecutors launched an investigation into the founder of South Korea's largest church, who has been accused by religious elders of embezzlement involving millions of dollars.

Twenty-nine elders of the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul asked prosecutors Tuesday to investigate Reverend Cho Yong-Gi and his eldest son Hee-Jun, for allegedly siphoning off donations worth 23 billion won ($20 million).

Cho denies the allegations, calling them a smear campaign.

The elders claim Cho used the money to help his son, a former chairman of a church-affiliated newspaper Kookmin Ilbo, recover losses made in stock investments.

"We have collected enough evidence regarding Cho's management of church funds and will continue to file additional lawsuits," the elders said in their complaint to prosecutors.

A Seoul prosecutors' office spokesman said investigations were under way.

"We first have to summon the complainants and receive evidence they have gathered before summoning Cho," he told AFP.



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Category: Church Security

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