Former tour guide 'runs out of cash to pay legal bills'

Former China tour guide Yang Yin has run out of cash to pay his legal fees, said his lawyer yesterday.
Former China tour guide Yang Yin has run out of cash to pay his legal fees, said his lawyer yesterday. PHOTO: ST FILE

Court says China national cannot liquidate $98,000 worth of insurance policies for now

Former China tour guide Yang Yin has run out of cash to pay his legal fees, said his lawyer yesterday.

Mr Joseph Liow was speaking to reporters after a State Court hearing in which the judge decided not to let Yang liquidate $98,000 worth of insurance policies for now.

The policies are in his name, but there is a dispute as to who is entitled to the proceeds. Madam Hedy Mok, a 61-year-old tour agency owner, alleges that the money came from her 88-year-old widowed aunt who had been manipulated by Yang, a China national.

She has sued Yang and successfully applied in August last year to freeze his assets, including the insurance policies. Since October, Yang, 41, has also been in police remand after being charged with faking receipts and allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from the estate of Madam Mok's aunt, Madam Chung Khin Chun.

When the High Court in April granted permission to liquidate the policies, it was revealed that they had been seized by the Commercial Affairs Department as part of its investigations. That is why the matter returned to the State Courts.

It was decided yesterday that the policies would remain untouched until Madam Mok's suit against Yang is settled, Mr Liow said. The trial date for the suit has been tentatively set for March.

"He has no funds right now. There have been no funds available to my client for quite some time," he explained. He would not be drawn into saying whether he has been paid by Yang.

Madam Mok's lawyer, Mr Peter Doraisamy, said his client will still appeal against the High Court's decision to allow Yang to liquidate the policies.

"The appeal has to go on. That is because there is still an order that allows him to use the proceeds of the insurance policies towards legal fees," he said.

Madam Chung owns a Gerald Crescent bungalow and her assets are estimated at $40 million.

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

Earlier this year, the courts threw out a 2010 will in which Madam Chung - who was diagnosed with dementia last year - left all her assets to Yang.

It was replaced by one which left him with nothing, and would see most of her money go to charity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2015, with the headline 'Former tour guide 'runs out of cash to pay legal bills''. Print Edition | Subscribe