Tussle over widow's $40M assets: Niece's court action against former tour guide adjourned

Tussle over widow's $40M assets: Niece's court action against former tour guide adjourned
The court action against Mr Yang has been adjourned till Oct 28.

SINGAPORE - The court action by Madam Hedy Mok to strip former China tour guide Yang Yin of control of her wealthy aunt's assets was yesterday adjourned by nearly a month.

This is to allow a separate court application by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be settled first. On Friday, the Family Court will hear whether to suspend the powers given to Madam Mok and Mr Yang to act on behalf of the widow.

By suspending their roles, the OPG can step in to get an independent medical assessment of 87-year-old Madam Chung Khin Chun, whose assets are believed to be worth $40 million.

She was diagnosed with dementia this year and the OPG wants to know if she has the mental capacity to revoke the LPA on her own.

Madam Mok, a 60-year-old tour agency owner with whom Madam Chung has been living since Aug 21, told The Straits Times: "While I understand that the OPG must have its reason for the step that it took, I hope this gets sorted out soon."

She added that her aunt's well-being comes first.

Madam Mok has accused Mr Yang of manipulating her aunt into handing him a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which gave him control of her assets.

Mr Yang moved into Madam Chung's $30 million bungalow in 2009, a year after acting as her private tour guide during a trip to China.

In 2012, she applied to the OPG to give Mr Yang the LPA.

Madam Mok is also suing the 40-year-old Mr Yang for damages over his alleged breaches of duty under the LPA. Mr Yang's lawyer, Mr Joseph Liow, said these civil cases could come to a "standstill" if the OPG's application is approved.

He was speaking after meeting Madam Mok's lawyers at yesterday's pre-trial conference, which he revealed was adjourned till Oct 28.

Last week, the OPG lodged a police report against Mr Yang for possible financial abuse after it emerged he had boasted about his wealthy and lavish lifestyle online.

The report was made on Sept 17, the same day Mr Yang was arrested for suspected criminal breach of trust.

This article was first published on October 1, 2014.
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