Jump directly to the content

Founder of World's Largest Church Could Face Indictment for Alleged Stock Scheme

Yoido Full Gospel Church's David Yonggi Cho is accused of $9 million stock loss and $5.5 million in tax evasion.

The founding pastor of the world's largest Pentecostal congregation could be indicted on charges of breach of trust for costing the church more than $9 million in a stock scheme gone awry.

South Korean news sources report that prosecutors are investigation David Yonggi Cho, founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church which has more than 1 million congregants, for a stock scheme in which he arranged for the church to buy his son Cho Hee-jun's stock "at a rate three to four times higher than market value." Prosecutors also found evidence that Cho has accrued $5.5 million in tax debt.

Cho first came under investigation in 2011, when church elders accused him of embezzling $20 million. Cho also has been criticized for privatizing church assets.

The subject of church taxation has been a sticky one for Cho, leading to the current investigation against him. In December 2012, South Korean prosecutors booked his son Cho Hee-jun without detention and "identified David Cho as an accomplice to the crime of breach of trust."

CT previously noted in 2006 that Yoido Full Gospel had selected Lee Young-hoon to replace Cho as head pastor.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect that Cho to correct errors regarding the state of the investigation. We apologize for the errors.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Related Topics:Asia
Posted:March 1, 2013 at 11:16AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Overtime Pay Mandated for More Ministry Employees
But pastors are likely exempt.
Died: Kenneth Bailey, the Scholar Who Made Jesus Middle Eastern Again
The late scholar helped Western Christians see the Bible through a cultural lens.
Baylor to Fire Head Coach Art Briles, Demote President Ken Starr
UPDATE: Briles, Starr, and athletic director Ian McCaw to face punishment after football player scandal.
Why Most Pastors Don't Do Prison Ministry
Most have gone to jail (to visit), but few have former inmates in their pews.
Christianity Today
Founder of World's Largest Church Could Face Indictment for Alleged ...