Tussle over widow's $40m assets: High Court to decide on ex-tour guide's accounts

The High Court will decide on Feb 26, 2015, whether former tour guide Yang Yin can withdraw $12,000 a month from his frozen bank accounts for personal and legal expenses. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
The High Court will decide on Feb 26, 2015, whether former tour guide Yang Yin can withdraw $12,000 a month from his frozen bank accounts for personal and legal expenses. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

Attorney-General's Chambers asks him to plead guilty to some charges

The High Court will decide tomorrow whether former tour guide Yang Yin can withdraw $12,000 a month from his frozen bank accounts for personal and legal expenses.

The 40-year-old Chinese national, who had his assets frozen pending legal action, is also asking the court to lift the freeze altogether, and accuses his opponent, Madam Hedy Mok, of not sticking to a deal in which he would be allowed to withdraw $3,000 each week.

"The judge has heard arguments and she wants to think about it before making a decision on Thursday," Yang's lawyer, Mr Joseph Liow, told reporters after the two-hour closed-door hearing yesterday.

Yang's assets, which were frozen in August last year, included $1.13 million in four OCBC bank accounts. He claims the money was a gift from Madam Chung Khin Chun, a wealthy 88-year- old widow he had befriended and is accused of manipulating.

His assets were frozen after Madam Mok, who is the widow's niece, accused him of masterminding control over her aunt's assets, estimated to be worth $40 million, including a $30 million bungalow in Gerald Crescent off Yio Chu Kang Road.

Madam Chung met Yang in 2008 while he was her tour guide in China. The next year, he moved into her bungalow.

In 2010, she made a will leaving him all her assets, including the bungalow. Yang claims the widow, who has no children and whose husband died in 2007, treated him like a grandson. Two years later, she granted him a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

Madam Mok has sued Yang for allegedly breaching his duties under the LPA, which was revoked last November. Madam Chung has also made a new will which leaves her fortune to charity. Her niece has filed it with the Family Court and asked the court to execute it on her aunt's behalf.

In another development, Yang has received an offer to plead guilty to some criminal charges.

He stands accused of two criminal breach of trust offences which allegedly involve the misappropriation of $1.1 million from Madam Chung. Each charge carries a sentence of up to seven years' jail and/or a fine.

The Singapore permanent resident also faces more than 300 counts of faking receipts issued by his music and dance company.

Yang's criminal lawyer Wee Pan Lee confirmed the offer, but declined to provide details. It is also unclear if Yang will accept the offer. He has been denied bail and is in police custody.

tohyc@sph.com.sg