Businessman 'felt cheated' after change in $2m loan terms

Businessman Toh Eng Tiah is suing his former mistress Angelina Jiang for the return of $2 million, which he says was a loan that had to be repaid.
Businessman Toh Eng Tiah is suing his former mistress Angelina Jiang for the return of $2 million, which he says was a loan that had to be repaid.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO

But he and mistress exchanged intimate messages even after he learnt of the amended contract, says her lawyer

A 55-year-old businessman who is suing his former mistress for the return of $2 million alleged in court that he felt "cheated" when he found out she had unilaterally changed the terms of their loan agreement.

But her lawyer pointed out in cross-examination yesterday that Mr Toh Eng Tiah continued to send sexually intimate messages to Ms Angelina Jiang, 33, even after he found out he had been misled.

Mr Toh took the stand on the second day of the hearing of his High Court suit against Ms Jiang to recover the $2 million, which he says was a loan that had to be repaid. Ms Jiang, a property agent, says it was a gift he is not entitled to reclaim.

The two met in November 2016, and between December 2016 and March 2017, Mr Toh paid her more than $1 million, of which at least $819,000 was used to pay her credit card bills and living expenses, said Ms Jiang.

On March 24, 2017, they signed a loan agreement for $2 million, including the sum already advanced, and Mr Toh paid her another $872,000.

He said he realised he had been duped on April 5, 2017, when his lawyer told him that some terms had been changed from what had been drafted. For instance, the repayment period had been extended to 10 years instead of five.

Yesterday, Ms Jiang's lawyer, Mr Mahesh Rai, sought to poke holes in Mr Toh's claim of being cheated, citing examples of how he continued treating her normally after April 5.

 
 
 

That very evening, the pair exchanged messages "of a sexual nature", Mr Rai noted.

On April 10, Mr Toh addressed Ms Jiang as his wife and told her she was "the person who is the most truthful to (him)".

In other messages, Mr Toh discussed investment opportunities with Ms Jiang and told her that the $2 million was a gift.

Mr Rai asserted that the continued exchange of messages showed Mr Toh had not been cheated when he signed the amended document, but the businessman disagreed.

Questioned by his own lawyer, Mr Anthony Lee, Mr Toh said his feelings for Ms Jiang faded after he found out about the amended contract. But he continued to communicate with her because she had promised to return him the money earlier than stipulated, he said.

Mr Rai also sought to establish that the loan agreement had been concocted by the pair to placate Mr Toh's wife, Ms Chong Lee Yee.

After discovering the affair, Ms Chong had phoned Ms Jiang in January and told her to leave Mr Toh.

Mr Rai contended that on March 20, 2017, Mr Toh phoned Ms Jiang and told her his wife was making things difficult and he needed the loan agreement to prove his mistress was not after his money.

He also said his wife was unhappy because he was willing to give her only $3 million and two properties after 10 years of marriage.

Mr Toh disagreed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2019, with the headline 'Businessman 'felt cheated' after change in $2m loan terms'. Print Edition | Subscribe