Yang Yin saga

May-July trial dates for ex-China tour guide

Former China tour guide Yang Yin, who faces 349 criminal charges, will be tried in court between May and July. The State Courts yesterday scheduled the trial dates during a pre-trial conference.

The hearing for his falsification and immigration charges will be held between May 30 and June 1, while his criminal breach of trust charges will be heard separately in June and July.

Most of the 42-year-old Chinese national's charges are over immigration offences and the falsification of receipts made to his company, Young Music and Dance Studio.

The receipts allegedly made it seem that his firm, through which he obtained permanent residency, was viable and had received $450,000 in payment for services.

The most serious charges, however, are two counts of criminal breach of trust, of allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million from 89-year-old widow Chung Khin Chun. For each charge, he could be jailed up to seven years and fined.

Earlier, Yang's lawyer Wee Pan Lee said his client would claim trial for all charges, although he added: "Things can change." Yang has been in remand since October 2014.

In 2014, Madam Chung's niece, Madam Hedy Mok, started a series of legal actions against Yang for allegedly manipulating her aunt into handing over her assets. Madam Chung owns a bungalow in Gerald Crescent and her assets are estimated to be worth $40 million.

Yang met Madam Chung, a retired physiotherapist, when he acted as her private guide during a China trip in 2008. A year later, he moved into her bungalow and claimed the widow wanted him to be her "grandson".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'May-July trial dates for ex-China tour guide Yang Yin saga'. Print Edition | Subscribe