Chinese tour guide jailed for swindling Singapore widow
September 30 2016 01:35 PM
Singaporean widow Chung Khin Chun (second left) walking out of court with friends and supporters in Singapore. AFP/The Straits Times


A Chinese tour guide who swindled an elderly Singaporean widow out of millions has been handed an eight-year prison term in a highly-charged case that has fanned anti-immigrant sentiment in Singapore.
Yang Yin, 42, "abused a position of trust," the court judge said on Friday, after he became close to 89-year-old Chung Khin Chun, a wealthy widow who suffers from dementia, and persuaded her to give him power of attorney over her affairs.
Yang and his family moved into Chung's luxury bungalow and took control of her some Sg$40mn fortune -- but due to a combination of profligate spending and fraud, she was left with just Sg$10,000 in her bank account by the time she launched legal action against him in 2014.
Yang was on Friday given six years in jail for misappropriating Sg$1.1mn (around $800,000), in addition to a Thursday sentence of 26 months for a slew of fraud-related offences. The jail terms will be served consecutively.
Chung's niece, Hedy Mok, who has helped her aunt with the legal action, said she was disappointed with the sentence -- which was half of what state prosecutors had demanded.
"He used my aunt's money to fight her," said Mok, who still has a civil suit pending against Yang.
Yang's lawyer told AFP that he was "relieved" by the verdict.
The saga attracted widespread interest in Singapore, where a third of the 5.6mn population are foreigners, with many criticising the court's relatively light sentence.
"Six years is too lenient to him," Yukimi Wu wrote on the Facebook page of local daily The Straits Times.
"This would encourage more (mainland Chinese) to con our Singapore rich people in future," wrote another reader, Marcus Tan.

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