Sat, Jul 06, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Will forgery lands lover of late tycoon 12 years in prison

Reuters, HONG KONG

A Hong Kong judge yesterday jailed a former lover of late billionaire tycoon Nina Wang (龔如心) for 12 years for forging a will naming him the sole heir to one of Asia’s largest fortunes, estimated at US$4 billion.

Justice Andrew Macrae delivered the sentence on Peter Chan (陳振聰), formerly known as Tony Chan, in the territory’s High Court a day after a jury found him guilty on charges of forgery and using a forged document. Chan had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Sentencing Chan to 12 years on each charge, to be served concurrently, Macrae highlighted the “shameless and unparallelled greed” at the heart of a “well-executed and planned” crime, that saw Chan exploit his relationship with Wang to obtain large amounts of her money in her final years.

“Never once ... have you shown the slightest remorse for your conduct,” the judge said. “You took full advantage of her sadness, loneliness and tragic life.”

As the sentence was handed down, Chan stared solemnly at his wife in the public gallery. She had sobbed throughout the hearing, covering her mouth with a small handkerchief.

The judge also ordered Chan to pay more than HK$2 million (US$257,900) for legal costs the prosecution incurred in a preliminary inquiry the latter had requested.

The proceedings had transfixed Hong Kong with revelations of adultery and bizarre rituals associated with feng shui.

The 53-year-old father of three also described in court how he had enjoyed a passionate sexual relationship with the billionaire heiress, who was more than 20 years his senior.

Macrae said Chan was tarnishing Wang’s good name and reputation by making himself her sole beneficiary and diverting the money from her charitable foundation to himself.

Chan managed to get £30 million (US$45 million) from Wang when she was sick and fragile in the last two days of her life, the judge said, calling his behavior “shameless” and “wicked.”

Wang was one of Asia’s wealthiest women, with a business empire including the Chinachem Group (華懋), Hong Kong’s largest private property developer. She died of cancer in 2007, aged 69.

Wang inherited most of her wealth from her husband, Teddy (王德輝), who was kidnapped in 1990 and never seen alive again.

The sentence is the latest setback for Chan, who has been hit by the long, costly legal battle for Wang’s estate that he lost in 2011.

In 2011, the High Court upheld a previous judgement that a 2006 will leaving Wang’s entire estate to Chan was a forgery, and upheld an earlier will bequeathing her fortune to a charitable foundation run by her family.

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