Widow, niece awarded $1.1m and legal costs in civil suit

Madam Mok (at left) said she is mulling over what else to do in the civil case in which she sued Yang on behalf of Madam Chung (far left).
Madam Mok (at left) said she is mulling over what else to do in the civil case in which she sued Yang on behalf of Madam Chung (far left).ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

In a civil suit, the High Court had on Feb 6 awarded a judgment of $1.1 million to Madam Hedy Mok and her aunt, Madam Chung Khin Chung, the elderly woman who had been manipulated by Yang Yin into handing over control of her assets estimated to be worth $40 million.

But it is unclear if the award would bring the civil suit to a close.

The judgment was revealed by Yang Yin's lawyer Irving Choh, during an appeal at the High Court yesterday against his client's sentence for criminal breach of trust.

"They wanted only $1.1 million, I do not know why," said Mr Choh, who added that the High Court also awarded Madam Chung and Madam Mok $30,000 in legal costs.

When asked by Justice Tay Yong Kwang, who heard the appeal against the sentence, why he had brought up the civil suit award, Mr Choh replied: "This is for background and to update (the court)."

Later, Madam Mok, 63, told reporters she is still mulling over what else to do in the civil case in which she sued Yang in 2014 on behalf of her aunt, who has dementia. "I haven't decided yet." The tour agency owner noted that even though Yang had admitted to cheating her aunt of $1.1 million, there is still about $5 million that remains unaccounted for.

On the increase in jail term from six to nine years, she said: "It is good. I am happy that he got more years in jail." Madam Mok's lawyer Peter Doraisamy of Peter Doraisamy LLC yesterday confirmed the award.

"We are in the process of enforcing the judgment," he said, declining to comment on the suit further.

Yang had met Madam Chung, a retired physiotherapist, in 2008 when he acted as her private tour guide during a China trip.

A year later, he moved into her bungalow in Yio Chu Kang and claimed the widow wanted him to be her "grandson".

Madam Chung's husband, Dr Chou Sip King, died in 2007, and the couple have no children.

Yang had pleaded guilty in August last year to misappropriating $500,000 in February 2010 and $600,000 in January 2012 from Madam Chung.

Toh Yong Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline 'Widow, niece awarded $1.1m and legal costs in civil suit'. Print Edition | Subscribe