Ex-tour guide Yang Yin's trials on 349 charges to start on May 30

Former China tour guide Yang Yin (centre), who faces 349 criminal charges, will be tried in court between May and July.
Former China tour guide Yang Yin (centre), who faces 349 criminal charges, will be tried in court between May and July. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former China tour guide Yang Yin, who faces 349 criminal charges, will be tried in court between May and July.

The State Courts on Wednesday (March 30) scheduled his trial during a pre-trial conference.

The trial for his falsification and immigration charges will be held between May 30 and June 3 while his criminal breach of trust charges will be heard separately in June and July.

Most of Yang's charges are over immigration offences and the falsification of receipts made to his company, Young Music and Dance Studio. The receipts allegedly made it seem that his firm, through which he obtained permanent residency, was viable and had received $450,000 in payment for services.

The most serious charges, however, are two counts of criminal breach of trust, of allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from 89-year-old widow Madam Chung Khin Chun. For each charge, the 42-year-old could be jailed up to seven years and fined.

On Tuesday, Yang's lawyer Mr Wee Pan Lee said his client will be claiming trial for all charges although "things can change". He added that the criminal charges will be heard separately in two trials as the facts are different.

Yang has been in remand since October 2014 after he was denied bail.

The case was initiated in 2014 when Madam Chung's niece, Madam Hedy Mok, started a series of legal actions against Yang for allegedly manipulating her aunt into handing over her assets. Madam Chung owns a bungalow in Gerald Crescent and her assets are estimated to be worth $40 million.

Yang met Madam Chung, a retired physiotherapist, when he acted as her private guide during a China trip in 2008. A year later, he moved into her bungalow and claimed the widow wanted him to be her "grandson".

He was later given the right to manage her assets and welfare under a Lasting Power of Attorney, which has since been revoked.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg