Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Payback Time

It's the end of the road for self-styled feng shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen.

Yesterday he lost his four-year battle for the HK$50 billion estate of the late Nina Wang who was once Hong Kong's richest woman. She died in 2007 of cancer at aged 69.

Chan now faces the possibility of paying as much as HK$200 million in legal bills for Wang's estate Chinachem Charitable Foundation run by her siblings, as well as his own fees and possible criminal charges.

He had claimed Wang had left him the estate in her 2006 will -- which he has been charged of forging -- while Chinachem claimed it was the beneficiary in a 2002 will.

In a victory celebration, Wang's younger brother Dr Kung Yan-sum welcomed the decision at Nina Tower in Tsuen Wan flanked by his siblings and staff from Chinachem Group. "There is justice in heaven and on earth" -- a saying he repeated many times during the legal process -- was the truth.

He said the foundation could now finally proceed with its work, though they were still waiting for the assets to be transferred, which could take another two years.

Meanwhile Chan's public relations representative Lamington Consultants issued a statement on his behalf saying he was "very disappointed in the court's decision because although he had made every effort, he was unable to implement the wishes that Madam Kung Yu-sum had left before her death and he feels deeply sorry to Madam Kung."

The statement added he did not mount the lawsuit for Wang's money. "Now that the court has decided Chinachem is to manage Madam Kung's estate, Chan will respect the court's decision and at the same time hopes the foundation will use Kung's estate well, and society will watch over the foundation's operation so that the charitable funds can be used to help people in need."

Sounds like someone desperately trying to be diplomatic in the face of utter defeat.

He said in a television interview that he would discuss his next step with his lawyers -- perhaps setting up a payment schedule?

When asked about his financial problems, Chan replied he had always said, "Be frugal where possible, keep one's head down and take it one step at a time."

His next step will be on November 25 when he will appear at Eastern Court for proceedings to bring his criminal case to the High Court. He was charged in late May for forgery and using a false instrument. He was released on a HK$20 million bail and a HK$20 million surety provided by his brother.

Hopefully this marks the last time we will ever hear of this man whose delusions of grandeur have surely busted big time.


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