Yang Yin’s golden ticket went from being a ticket to becoming a millionaire at the expense of an elderly widow, to contributing to a nine year (and counting) “stay(cation)” in Changi Prison.
It all started when Mdm. Chung Khin Chun, whose assets are worth an estimated SGD 40 million, was introduced by a family friend to former tour guide Yang Yin in 2006. Subsequently, Yang Yin continued to act as Mdm. Chung’s private tour guide when she went for a holiday in Beijing in 2008 after she was widowed, and kept in touch with Mdm. Chung thereafter. In 2009, Yang Yin came to Singapore and moved into the elderly widow’s bungalow, claiming that Mdm. Chung wanted him to be her “grandson”.
In 2010, Yang Yin manipulated the elderly widow into making a will wherein Yang Yin stood to inherit everything, including Mdm. Chung’s bungalow, while in 2012, Mdm. Chung granted Yang Yin a Lasting Power of Attorney over her welfare and assets.
If one thinks back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and at the risk of being a little too obvious, one will remember how Charlie’s golden ticket earned him a trip to the amazing chocolate factory. In like manner, we can be certain Yang Yin might have thought of Mdm. Chung’s 2010 will as a golden ticket to becoming a millionaire.
However, after Mdm. Chung’s niece discovered that Mdm. Chung had granted Yang Yin a Lasting Power of Attorney, giving him full control over all her assets, the niece commenced a series of legal proceedings against Yang Yin.
Amongst a series of legal wins, a new statutory will was made by Mdm. Chung’s niece on behalf of her aunt, which new will was recognised by the Court in 2015. While Yang Yin contested the recognition of the new will, the courts recognised it as valid, based on evidence given by several witnesses that Mdm. Chung made the 2010 will under the undue influence of Yang Yin, among other factors.
Just last Friday, 3 March 2017, former tour guide Yang Yin’s six-year jail term for misappropriating S$1.1 million from Mdm. Chung, was increased from six to nine years, under charges of criminal misconduct.
To quote Judge of Appeal Tay Yong Kwang, “In every society, taking advantage of vulnerable persons in the community is completely unacceptable and utterly reprehensible.”
The icing on the cake: Mdm. Chung’s new will leaves most of her assets to charity and nothing to Yang Yin.
The lesson to be learnt: unlike in movies where swindling an elderly person can easily make one rich, Yang Yin learnt the hard way, by paying the price of his apparently golden ticket: a period of nine years behind bars: it is unlikely they will be made of chocolate.