When Fraud Wears Religious Cassocks


According to the US court papers, Taipei Smartphone maker HTC Corp’s founder, Cher Wang, was defrauded out of US$7.4 million by a church elder couple. The US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California, said Jonathan Chang, aged 60, and his wife, Grace Lee Chang, aged 57, were the defendants. Plaintiff, Wang and her husband, Chen Wen-chi, are devout Christians and that they founded the “Faith Hope Love Foundation” to support Christian organizations around the world. Defendants, Jonathan Chang and his wife served as church elders between 2002 and 2011 and were in charge of the church’s finances, allegedly remitted the money given by Wang, to the organization they set up, instead of the church. In other words, defendants did not inform the church about the donation and diverted the money into their personal account. Similar cases, such as United States v. Bakker (1991), the well-known televangelist, James O. Bakker, was convicted of fraud and conspiracy. In addition to monetary fraud, worst cases even involved in sexual abuse, murder by the excuse of transforming bad luck. When religion is used as a deceptive tool, for example, the Taiwanese Sung incident and the Sun Ming Gong, etc, the so-called freedom of belief have been facing atheists’ reprimands. Is it correct that we should have the government moderately intervene in a religious organ’s management and further review its operations so as to protect the safety of people's beliefs?

Author Information
Wei-Hsin Chang, School of Law, Henan University of Science & Technology, China

Paper Information
Conference: IICSSHawaii2017
Stream: Politics, Public Policy, Law & Criminology

This paper is part of the IICSSHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon