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.

Related Topics:Asia
Posted:March 1, 2013 at 11:16AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
James MacDonald Asks Forgiveness for Unbiblical Discipline of Harvest Bible Chapel Elders
Megachurch pastor confesses board slandered three elders as 'false messengers' last year.
Does Islam Encourage Violence More Than Other Religions?
New Pew survey examines who says yes and no.
How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money
Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen find what determines pastor salaries (and who might be most underpaid).
Should Pastors Follow Pope Francis and Marry Cohabiting Couples?
Scenario is increasingly common in Protestant congregations.
Christianity Today
Founder of World's Largest Church Could Face Indictment for Alleged ...