Monday 3rd March 2014
David Yonggi Cho the founder of South Koreas Yoido full gospel church has been sentenced for three years in Prison
Via The Huffington Post
Allegations arose in November of last year when 30 church elders held a press conference accusing Cho and his family of stealing millions in church donations dating back to the 1990s. The elders enumerated multiple instances of Cho’s dishonesty that involved him borrowing and never returning funds, acquiring enormous church donations without disclosing what they were being used toward and even taking an $18 million severance pay when he stepped down as head pastor in 2008.
One former church elder, Ha Sang-ok, was present at the press conference and urged Cho to come forward.
On February 21, Seoul Central Court found Cho guilty of embezzlement from encouraging church officials in 2002 to buy stock owned by his son at four times the market value. according to Yonhap News Agency. In addition to spending three years in prison, Cho will pay $4.6 million in fines as part of his sentence, though if the church elders were right this is still just a fraction of the total funds he stole.
This is not the first time Cho has been involved in scandal. In 2011, church elders accused the pastor of embezzling $20 million and privatizing church assestsYoido Full Gospel Church is an Assemblies of God-affiliated congregation and has grown exponentially since 1958 when Cho founded it. The church draws hundreds of thousands of worshippers to every service according to PBS, making it the largest megachurch in the world.
Source: Huffington Post