While a school supervisor called the case a “misunderstanding,” three directors have fled overseas.
A Christian organization working to rehabilitate drug addicts in Hong Kong said in a statement that it was “shocked” when authorities arrested four of its directors Jan. 18 for conspiracy to defraud donors of $6.4 million ($50 million HKD) in donations.
Three other directors—including the group’s founder, Jacob Hay-sing Lam, and the principal of the group’s high school, Alman Siu-cheuk Chan—have also been charged, but fled the country after the investigation began. Christian Zheng Sheng Association vowed to cooperate with the police investigation to “restore the institution’s reputation and innocence.”
Founded in 1985, Zheng Sheng seeks to build a “holistic and interactive Christian therapeutic community” for drug addicts of all ages and help them “re-establish their values in life.” They also opened Christian Zheng Sheng College, a high school that functions as a rehab center, according to its website. The Chinese characters of Zheng Sheng represent the biblical phrases “repent and redeem” and “from death unto life.”
Concerns about the group arose over a fundraiser that the school’s principal Chan ran between October and December 2020. Chan claimed the school needed funds in a year of record-low donations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school ended up raising $5.7 million through the campaign.
However, police investigations found that less than 10 percent of the donations raised at the end of 2020 actually went to the school. Instead, there were more than 300 transactions to other bank accounts, including three personal accounts co-owned by Chan and other charity directors. The investigation also found that the charity …