Yang Yin admits duping widow

Yang, who is expected to be sentenced on Sept 9, had claimed Madam Chung saw him as her "grandson" and wanted to leave her assets to him. But in truth, he came to Singapore simply to benefit himself and his family.
Yang, who is expected to be sentenced on Sept 9, had claimed Madam Chung saw him as her "grandson" and wanted to leave her assets to him. But in truth, he came to Singapore simply to benefit himself and his family. PHOTO: ST FILE

Nearly two years after his arrest, former tour guide Yang Yin yesterday pleaded guilty to misappropriating $1.1 million from a wealthy widow he had moved in with.

The 42-year-old from China admitted persuading Madam Chung Khin Chun, now 89, to remit $500,000 to his father in 2010 on the pretext of buying her a painting by a famous Chinese painter.

Yang bought a worthless fake instead.

Entrusted to manage the widow's investments, he also withdrew $600,000 in 2012.

And in both these instances, Yang admitted to telling lie after lie to cover his tracks. He told his banker he was withdrawing the $600,000 to start a company in Hong Kong when there was no such plan.

He told police that the money was used to buy five paintings for Madam Chung - paintings an art expert later estimated to be worth just $3,000.

Yang has never revealed what he did with the $1.1 million he misappropriated, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani highlighted, adding that "the accused has made no restitution".

Yang, who has been in remand since October 2014, is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept 9. For each charge of criminal breach of trust, he could be jailed for up to seven years and fined.

He is also likely to be sentenced that day for the 347 other charges he faced - mostly relating to falsifying receipts. On May 31, Yang pleaded guilty to 120 of these charges; the rest will be taken into account for sentencing.

Carolyn Khew

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: Widow's $2.7m savings down to $10k in 4 years

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'Yang Yin admits duping widow'. Print Edition | Subscribe