Businessman-lover spat over $2m

Man planned to use loan contract as ploy in divorce: Mistress

She says he aimed to prevent wife asking for shares in firm, swore it would not be enforced

A 33-year-old property agent being sued by her former lover for the return of $2 million said in court yesterday that she had signed a loan agreement only because the businessman wanted to use it to divorce his wife.

Ms Angelina Jiang said Mr Toh Eng Tiah, 55, was unwilling to give his wife shares in his paper recycling company upon their divorce.

"He needed the contract to show her that he did not love me more than her," she told the High Court.

She was testifying on the fourth day of the hearing into Mr Toh's suit to get back the $2 million that he had paid her between December 2016 and March 2017.

Mr Toh, who owns three recycling companies, says the money was a loan. Ms Jiang says it was a gift.

Both sides signed a loan agreement for $2 million on March 24, 2017, after Mr Toh had already paid Ms Jiang an advance of more than $1 million. He then paid her another $872,000.

Ms Jiang said Mr Toh had suggested that they sign the agreement as a ploy to placate his wife, who had found out that he had given large sums of money to Ms Jiang.

She said Mr Toh wanted to show his wife the document to make her believe he had only lent Ms Jiang the money, which would be repaid.

Yesterday, Mr Toh's lawyer Anthony Lee said this did not make sense, given Ms Jiang's testimony that the businessman was about to divorce his wife.

 
 
 

He said there was no reason that Mr Toh would have to appease his wife, as they were about to divorce.

Ms Jiang disagreed. She said the "fake contract" was to be shown to Mr Toh's wife so that she would not insist on getting shares in his company in their divorce.

Mr Toh wanted to show that giving his wife $3 million and two properties for a childless marriage was "good enough", said Ms Jiang.

She said that Mr Toh had promised not to enforce the contract or sue her for the money.

He even suggested that to make the ploy look realistic, they should each engage their own lawyers to witness the signing, she added.

Ms Jiang said Mr Toh had told her the contract had to be signed before March 31, 2017, the day he was negotiating the divorce with his wife.

Mr Toh earlier testified that he and Ms Jiang had met divorce lawyers on Jan 31, 2017, but he had no intention of divorcing his wife.

Yesterday, Ms Jiang also accused Mr Toh's wife, Ms Chong Lee Yee, of fabricating evidence.

Ms Chong had produced photos of text messages between Mr Toh and Ms Jiang that she said she had secretly taken off her husband's phone.

But Ms Jiang said 95 per cent of the messages were not from her and that many photos did not show her WeChat avatar and name, or the date and time of the messages.

Comparing the photos with her own records, she pointed out discrepancies and formatting differences.

The trial continues next month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2019, with the headline 'Man planned to use loan contract as ploy in divorce: Mistress'. Print Edition | Subscribe