Court orders laser clinic chain's founder to release bank records

Dr Goh objected to releasing his bank records to disclose the payment received in the sale but the High Court overruled him. However, the court allowed the access order to be stayed, pending the outcome of his appeal.
Dr Goh objected to releasing his bank records to disclose the payment received in the sale but the High Court overruled him. However, the court allowed the access order to be stayed, pending the outcome of his appeal.ST FILE PHOTO

A foreign-based company which paid $14.4 million for shares in a Singapore aesthetics clinic chain, then cancelled the sale, won a court decision to monitor the money it had already paid and is now trying to have returned.

Seychelles-based Liberty Sky Investments (LSI) wants to establish if the monies remained in the OCBC Bank account of PPP Laser Clinic founder Goh Seng Heng or have been shifted to third parties.

LSI is doing this while separately fighting a civil case claiming it had been misrepresented into buying 32,049 shares in Aesthetic Medical Partners (AMP) in a sale agreement with Dr Goh in 2014.

AMP provides aesthetic facial treatments and procedures, and, among other things, operates a chain of clinics named "PPP Laser Clinic" and sells skincare products at the "PPP shop".

Dr Goh was the group executive chairman of AMP from January 2012 to June 2014 and shareholder at the material time.

He had objected to releasing his bank records to disclose the payment received in the sale but the High Court recently overruled him.

In judgment grounds issued last week, Judicial Commissioner Debbie Ong ruled "it is necessary, just and convenient to order disclosure of these documents from the banks in order for LSI to trace and follow the sale price monies".

OCBC said it would abide by what the court orders.

However, the court allowed the access order to be stayed, pending the outcome of an appeal by Dr Goh.

The original sale soured when LSI claimed, through Senior Counsel Harpreet Singh Nehal, that it was induced by misrepresentations made by Dr Goh and others to enter into the sale agreement.

LSI - controlled by Shanghai- based Madam Gong Ruilin, who is married to Mr Lin Lijun - rescinded the deal and is now seeking a return of the monies paid.

Dr Goh, defended by lawyer Adrian Tan, denies the claims of misrepresentations, saying they are the subject of serious dispute to be settled in the main case and there is no prima facie case of fraud.

Having assessed the evidence, Judicial Commissioner Ong found there was a reasonable prima facie case that Dr Goh did make the representations in question to LSI through Madam Gong and Mr Lin.

The judge made clear LSI would have to provide proof of its case at the main trial in order to succeed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2017, with the headline 'Court orders laser clinic chain's founder to release bank records'. Print Edition | Subscribe