District Judge Shobha G. Nair had harsh words for former China tour guide turned con-man Yang Yin, describing Yang in court as a man who wove a carefully crafted “web of deceit” to get his hands on the 88 year-old Madam Chung Khin Chun’s $35 million fortune.
Bringing the court through Yang Yin’s schemes, the court heard how Yang cut Madam Chung off from friends and neighbours, then fired her maid and driver, before manipulating the old woman into making him the sole beneficiary of her million dollar will.
3 months ago, that will was invalidated in a closed-door hearing and replaced it with a new one in which nearly all her assets will go to charitable causes – a decision which Yang is appealing. This is in line with a will Madam Chung executed in 1989, which would have sent most of her assets to a trust fund that would benefit various charities, including the Community Chest and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
In 2008, a year after the death of her husband Dr Chou Sip King, she told lawyers that she would want to leave assets to her close friend and long-time employees with enough living expenses for the remainder of their lives. She also wanted to set up a trust fund in her late husband’s name to benefit charity.
In that same year, Madam Chung met Yang during a tour to China in 2008. She was with a 84 year-old friend, who happened to know Yang since 2005. He served as their tour guide and befriended Madam Chung.
In 2009, he convinced Madam Chung to allow him to move in with her, set up a company with him and then received permanent residency.
Madam Chung and Yang Yin’s mutual friend, who had been living with Madam Chung since 2004 moved out in 2011, citing her concerns that Yang now had control over Madam Chung’s money.
In 2010, she arrived at the lawyers’ office with Yang, and introduced him as her nephew. He claimed that he was working at the Chinese Embassy, and declined to hand over his name card, saying that it was inappropriate to do so.
In subsequent meetings, Yang became her mouthpiece and told the lawyers their services were no longer needed. In 2009, and then 2010, Madam Chung, who was diagnosed with dementia last year, changed her will through another lawyer, leaving everything to Yang.
According to witnesses, Yang Yin was described as pretentious and a “gold-digger” who frequently asked the widow to give him money or buy him luxury items.
Madam Chung’s Indonesian domestic worker, who worked for Madam Chung before she was dismissed by Yang, said that before Yang brought his wife and children to live with him at Madam Chung’s residence, he would sometimes entertain female visitors late at night.
Yang also prevented Madam Chung from visiting her regular doctor and changed her medication, which gradually caused Madam Chung’s health to worsen considerably.
Her domestic worker was then given firm instructions by Yang to not allow Madam Chung’s friends to visit her.
Faced with a barrage of these testimonies, Yang’s defence lawyer did not offer substantial rebuttals to the statements.
The judge, who did not name the parties involved, questioned why Yang would leave his own parents in China to take care of a woman he was not related to. “His benevolence had a price,” she said. “The unfortunate reality is that (Madam Chung’s) money and assets were (Yang’s) sole interest and he pursued it with unconscionable drive.”