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Grandson accused of betraying late father and grandmother’s trust and withholding $120k from HDB proceeds, leaving elderly woman in distress

An intensely personal family conflict has entered the public domain, following accusations by Edward Ho that his cousin, ‘J’, exploited their family and illicitly retained S$120,000 from their 80-year-old elderly grandmother’s share of the HDB flat sale.

In a viral Facebook post on Thursday (14 Jul) with over 2.3k shares, Edward detailed a series of events that have strained their family dynamics, centred around J’s alleged mishandling of his late father’s financial legacy.

The dispute traces back to the serious medical condition of J’s father, necessitating substantial family support to maintain their family home. This condition precipitated the father’s departure from his well-paid job at a local microprocessor company and the subsequent divorce of J’s parents.

Edward further revealed that J’s maternal grandfather had purchased a semi-detached property for the mother and son to reside in after the divorce, a property that J and his girlfriend now occupy.

In response to this crisis, J’s grandmother contributed S$120,000, derived from the sale proceeds of a condominium she and the grandfather had purchased, to help J’s father take over his ex-wife’s share of the HDB flat.

In response to the assistance and his own medical condition, J’s father invited the grandparents to live in the flat. They cared for him there for over ten years until his death two years ago.

Despite the family’s efforts, Edward condemns J’s apparent indifference towards their father’s deteriorating health, evidenced by infrequent visits and a seeming lack of compassion. Relations were further strained when J blamed their grandmother for a $40,000 shortfall that had initially been set aside for medical expenses.

Tensions escalated during the Lunar New Year festivities when J disclosed plans to sell the HDB flat, inherited from his father and where the grandparents were residing. Anticipating the sale, the grandmother requested reimbursement for the loan she had extended to J’s father.

Contrary to his initial promise to both grandparents, J astonishingly claimed that their father had only promised to give their grandmother $10,000 before his passing. This revelation led to her fainting from shock. Efforts to engage J in dialogue were thwarted when he reportedly blocked their calls.

J’s refusal to negotiate extended to the maternal grandfather and his late father’s childhood friends who attempted to intercede on the grandmother’s behalf. His response was unequivocal: “The $120,000 is mine, and you shouldn’t interfere with my affairs,” further stating that there was no proof of the loan.

It’s worth noting that the grandmother, with virtually no proficiency in English and apprehensive about the cost and uncertainty of legal proceedings, is hesitant to seek legal recourse. She fears that the costs may outweigh the potential recovery, and she may not live to see the resolution of the case.

The sale of their condominium and the loan to J’s father have plunged the grandparents into a precarious financial situation. Their application for a rental flat from the Housing Development Board (HDB) was denied as records showed they had previously sold a private property.

Following the grandfather’s passing in April due to liver cancer, the grandmother currently resides with her daughter and granddaughter, her future financial security is uncertain.

Following the virality of Edward’s Facebook post, regular customers of the store where the grandmother works have visited to express their concern, gifting her with red packets in a bid to comfort her broken heart.

Edward and his family continue to plead with J to show some conscience and honor his father’s memory by returning the withheld funds to their grandmother. Edward reminded J of the insurance payout he received following their father’s demise, which could feasibly facilitate repayment.

While the family is aware of J’s whereabouts, they have refrained from taking any drastic measures, maintaining hope for an amicable resolution that will secure their grandmother’s financial stability.

Edward’s claims are slander, says J

In response to the allegations made by his cousin, J took to his Facebook page on Saturday to defend himself. He expressed his distress over the false claims and the negative impact it had on him and his family.

J clarified that he loved his father and visited him once a week due to their separation, emphasizing the quality time they spent together before his father’s passing.

J acknowledged that he was not close to his paternal grandparents or Edward’s family since his teenage years due to perceived favoritism.

He questioned why Edward implied that he was responsible for their grandfather’s death, noting that the diagnosis of terminal cancer only came in April, despite earlier complaints about his grandfather’s health. J questioned Edward’s filial duties, suggesting that earlier medical intervention might have improved the chances of survival.

He further explained that his father desired to move out from living with his paternal grandparents, who he claimed disliked him despite living rent-free with him.

J stated that he was unable to assist his father due to being a student at the time and his parents’ strained relationship. He also mentioned his father’s comment about their grandmother not having trust in him and only caring about Edward and their uncle.

J disputed the claim that his father owed money to their grandmother, highlighting that his father had named other beneficiaries in his insurance policies, including his ex-wife, which he believed spoke volumes about their relationship.

He concluded by affirming that he felt supported by his father’s presence in his heart and that was enough for him, implying that he would not give in to what he considered unreasonable demands for money.

J alleged that his grandmother, cousin, and uncle visited his maternal grandparents’ place and allegedly harassed them, attempting to gain sympathy and convince his maternal grandfather about the situation.

J also charged that his cousin, Edward, seemingly without any apparent reason, slandered him and his fiancé.

He said that his grandmother, cousin, and his uncle went to hisy maternal grandparent’s place to harassed them. They tried to gain sympathy from them to convince his maternal grandfather about the situation.

In response to J’s complaint that he had moved into the HDB without informing him and only renovated his room, Edward shared that he had already been staying at the block in a rented flat where the grandparents resided, as he wanted to be able to assist his medically unwell uncle when needed.

Furthermore, in light of the allegations from netizens suggesting that Edward made the post for personal benefit, the grandmother clarified that she had asked her grandson to make the Facebook post in the hope of recovering her $120,000 for her retirement.

Despite the severe disagreements between family members, the matter has yet to be settled. It is hoped that this unfortunate situation can be resolved amicably without causing more distress for the elderly grandmother.

Below is the timeline of the matter from both sides.

2001: J’s parents and J moved into an HDB in Sengkang.

2008: J’s father was retrenched from a managerial position at a multinational company. According to Edward, this was due to his medical condition.

J’s maternal grandparents provided a property for J’s parents and J to live in, allowing them to rent out the HDB they had previously bought together for additional income.

J’s paternal grandparents sold their condo and moved into the HDB flat owned by J’s parents. J said that this added strain to their already deteriorating relationship. J noted that his parents separated, and J’s father moved into the HDB flat as well. Edward notes that the condo was financed for about five years before being sold to pay for the mother’s share of the flat. According to the family, the separation was due to the medical condition of the father.

J’s parents divorced, with J’s father required to pay alimony to J’s mother.

J’s father’s neurological disease worsened, and he stayed with J’s grandparents, who took care of him. A live-in domestic helper was hired to assist with his care. J claims that during this period, J’s grandparents began asking for financial support from him while he was serving in the National Service and studying. The grandmother denies this and said she did not receive a single cent from him.

In early 2021, J and his girlfriend successfully obtained a Built-To-Order (BTO) flat.

In October, J’s father passed away, and J inherited the HDB. J said that he allowed his grandparents to continue living in the HDB without paying rent, even though he had his own financial obligations. J was not informed about any supposed loan at the time of his father’s passing.

In January, due to the upcoming BTO flat, J needed to sell the inherited HDB. He requested his maternal grandparents to vacate the flat by June, which they agreed to.

In April, J’s grandfather passed away due to cancer. Edward claims that J assured his grandparents in January that he would return the money that was given by them to his father.

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