SINGAPORE - Former tour guide Yang Yin, who moved in to live with Madam Chung Khin Chun, took her where she wanted to go, accompanied her to eat where she wanted to and even cut her toenails.
His lawyer submitted pictures in court on Friday (Sept 9) to show that the 42-year-old had treated her well and wanted to “fill a void in her life” when he moved in to live with her from 2009-2014.
However, the prosecution questioned the photographs submitted as they were all taken on Aug 20, 2014 – after Madam Chung’s niece Madam Hedy Mok had sued him for unduly influencing her aunt into handing over her assets worth $40 million.
“I think the inference is quite clear,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani, who questioned the purpose of the photographs.
After presenting sentencing submissions on Friday, the prosecution asked that Yang be sentenced to 10 to 12 years’ imprisonment for misappropriating $1.1 million belonging to the elderly and “vulnerable” Madam Chung on two separate occasions– offences which required a deterrant sentence.
The 89-year-old widow has been diagnosed with dementia and is childless. Yang’s lawyer, Mr Irving Choh, however, asked for a jail term not exceeding three years. His client was a first-time offender and the sole breadwinner of his family.
While he had indeed taken the $1.1 million, Mr Choh said it was a “misguided attempt” not for personal gain, but to pay off his family debt.
Sentencing will take place at a later date. The next hearing has been scheduled for Sept 21 for further submissions.
Yang was convicted of allegedly misappropriating $500,000 and $600,000 from Madam Chung, in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
The Chinese national pleaded guilty on Aug 16 after 11 days of trial.
During the trial, Yang lied that Madam Chung had given him all of her monies.
These included over $300,000 that she entrusted to him to purchase a condominium unit on her behalf; $70,000 she gave for insurance policies in his name but monies from which were meant to benefit her when the policies matured; and a further $600,000 she wanted him to invest.
He also influenced Madam Chung to change her will in 2010, to one that benefited him. The will has since been revoked by the courts.
In 2014, Madam Chung’s niece, Madam Hedy Mok, began a series of civil actions to strip the Chinese national of any hold over her aunt, claiming he had unduly influenced the old woman.
He was arrested in September 2014 and charged a month later with a slew of offences, mostly falsifying receipts made to his company, Young Dance and Music Studio, so he could stay in Singapore.
In May, Yang pleaded guilty to 120 other charges, mainly for falsifying receipts to his company and immigration offences.