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