Forensic Audit Clears Prayer Palace

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LECG investigated the church's financial records as far back as 1994, and found nothing to substantiate The Toronto Star allegations.

Just over one year ago, The Prayer Palace board of directors stated publicly that The Toronto Star allegations of financial wrong doing were incorrect and unsubstantiated, and that they were confident that a closer look at The Prayer Palace's records would verify this fact.

In March of 2007, The Prayer Palace's legal counsel, Marek Z. Tufman of Tufman & Associates, retained the services of Bruce Armstrong of LECG, Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) to examine the church's financial records.

Bruce Armstrong has over 35 years of accounting, audit and forensic accounting experience, including seven years as the senior investigator at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO). He has been involved in more than 350 investigations, including criminal, corporate and civil matters, and has qualified as an expert in court on many occasions.

LECG investigated the church's financial records as far back as 1994, and found nothing to substantiate The Toronto Star allegations.

"Based on our investigation, we did not find any evidence to suggest that the pastors enriched themselves at the expense of The Prayer Palace or its members," says Bruce Armstrong.

"The Prayer Palace is glad to finally have a completed copy of the forensic audit performed by Mr. Armstrong, and that it confirms that the affairs of our church were and are in order, and that it clears The Prayer Palace of any wrong doings," says Frank Fernandes, a member of the Prayer Palace board of directors. "Even though the allegations were false, restoring the church's good reputation will still be difficult; however, this is a good first step."

Due to the church's defamation suit (filed in Ontario Superior Court - file # 07-CV-334017PD3) against The Toronto Star, a copy of this report has been submitted to their solicitor.

"It's been a very difficult year, and we're glad the investigations are over," says Frank Fernandes. "Our position has always been that the allegations against The Prayer Palace were false and that closer examination of the church's financial records would prove it. And now this has been confirmed in the report of an independent expert in forensic accounting."

Frank Fernandes (member of The Prayer Palace board of directors), and Marek Tufman are available for interviews.

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Peter Turkington
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