Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Sanjiv Vaswani, who led the prosecution, asked after presenting sentencing submissions on Friday (9 September) for Yang to be sentenced at least 10 to 12 years imprisonment for misappropriating $1.1 million belonging to the elderly and “vulnerable” Madam Chung on two separate occasions
Yang met Mdm Ching Khian Chun back in 2006 at a travel fair in china. He was also her tour guide during her tour to Beijing in 2008. They kept being in contact for years until in 2009, Yang moved into her bungalow on Gerald Crescent near Buangkok in February 2009 after the death of her husband. Only a month after his stay at her place, Young Music and Dance Studio was established in order for Yang to gain permanent residency here.
Yang is accused of cheating 89-year-old Madam Chung Khin Chun, a total of S$1.1 million. During the trial, Yang always said that Mdm Chung had given him all the monies.
A total of S$500,000 was transferred into his father’s account in China in 2010. Yang claimed that he bought a painting of a horse drinking water by a famous Chinese artist Xu Beihong on Mdm Chung’s behalf. The other S$600,000 was withdrawn in cash in January 2012. He claimed that he needed the money to register an art gallery business in Hong Kong. But in a separate civil suit against him, he said that he used the money to buy another five paintings.
It is said in court that Yang has always been inconsistent in giving the fact to the investigator. At one time, he said that the S$600,000 was used to register an art gallery. Then he said that he bought five paintings using the money. But then he changed the story again and said that the money was passed to Mdm Chung.
In 2010, Yang persuaded Mdm Chung to change her will, in which she obeyed. However, the will has been since revoked by the Court.
A senior investigation officer at the Commercial Affairs Department, DSP Jane Lim, stated that before February 2010, Mdm Chung had S$2,74 million in assets. She had S$950,000 in her bank account and S$1,78 million in unit trusts. But in August 2014, when her niece and guardian Ms Heidy Mok lodged a report, only S$9,212 was left in her current account.
At this moment the whereabout of $1.1 million that Yang had been misappropriated is still unknown. While another S$1,128,004 remains frozen in Yang’s bank account.
At the court, DPP Sanjiv said, “The lies and cover-ups pursued by the accused at length, years after the actual act of misappropriation was executed, demonstrate the depth of his commitment to deceit and fraud.”
Yang was arrested in September 2014. When Mdm Chung diagnosed with dementia, Madam Hedy Mok, who is Mdm Chung’s niece, stepped into the relationship. She reported Yang who was then arrested.
He was charged a month later. His offenses were mostly falsifying receipts made to his company so that he could stay in the country. In May 2016, Yang pleaded guilty, mostly for falsifying receipts to his company and immigration offenses.
However, his Defense lawyer Mr Irving Choh stated that Yang should not be put behind bar for more than 3 years, since he is a first-time offender. He was also the only breadwinner in the family which has financial burden due to his grandmother’s illness lately.
During the court, Mr Choh stated that the relationship between Yang and Madam Chung was nothing more that a grandmother with her grandson. He said, “Madam Chung treated my client like the grandson she never had. His desire to pay off his family debts got the better of him and landed him in this situation.”
He then showed pictures of the couple in their happy time. In one of the pictures, Yang was seen to cut Mdm Chung’s toenail, took her to take a walk, and accompanied her to eat.
However, DPP Sanjiv pointed out that those pictures were all taken on 20 August 2014, after Mdm Hedy had filed her suit against him.
The prosecutor questioned the intention of the photographs. “I think the inference is quite clear,” he said.
Yang could be jailed up to seven years and/or fined for each charge of criminal breach of trust. His case will be heard again on Sept 21. While sentencing will take place at a later date.