Former tour guide Yang Yin was sentenced to six years’ jail on Friday (Sep 29) for misappropriating S$1.1 million from a wealthy widow he had spent years “ingratiating” himself with, in an act prosecutors have called a “deep betrayal” of the 89-year-old woman.
On Thursday, Yang was sentenced to 26 months’ jail for duping Singapore authorities into granting him permanent residency by setting up a shell company, falsifying hundreds of receipts and paying small sums in tax.
This means that the 42-year-old will spend a total of eight years and two months behind bars.
The childless widow had given Yang control over her assets – worth millions of dollars – trusting him to use the money to look after her in her golden years.
Instead, in the four years that followed, Yang nearly emptied the widow’s bank account. In early 2010, Madam Chung Khin Chun had S$2.7 million in liquid assets. By August 2014, shortly before Yang’s arrest, the widow’s bank account contained less than S$10,000. She was none the wiser.
Prosecutors had called for a 10- to 12-year jail term for Yang, who had “intentionally fostered an environment of unquestioning trust with Mdm Chung … by capitalising on (her) age and lack of familial support”, they said.
Yang’s lawyer Irving Choh had urged the court not to impose a jail term longer than three years. Yang’s portrayal as a “ruthless cheat who had no qualms manipulating the affections of an elderly and vulnerable widow” is not true, Mr Choh said.
The lawyer added Yang had committed the offences “not for personal gain, but … to lift the financial burden on his family”.
‘TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED’: WIDOW’S NIECE
Speaking to the media outside the court, Mdm Chung’s niece Hedy Mok said she was “totally disappointed” with the “too lenient” sentence.
“He stole not only money, he stole all her jewellery and took away her dignity. The fact that he used my aunt’s money to fight her all this while until today … I think justice hasn’t really done very well,” Mdm Mok said.
She also intends to continue pursuing the civil case against Yang, she said.
On how her aunt is being taken care of, Mdm Mok said: “Her property will be sold and she will live on whatever she can, and the rest will go to charity. At the present moment, I’m looking after her and looking after her wealth. So there’s no need to worry about that.
“The message out to the public now is to look after the old, the vulnerable, the lonely. Because my aunt’s case shows what can happen.”