Businessman to get $ 1.12 million from ex-mistress after Court of Appeal overturns ruling, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – A businessman’s four-year legal battle for recover $ 2 million from his former mistress ended in defeat.
Mr. Toh Eng Tiah will no longer be able to recover any money from Ms. Angelina Jiang, who is 25 years his junior, following a decision of the Court of Appeal last Friday.
Instead, he will have to pay him $ 45,000.
It ends a legal saga that began in 2017 when the married businessman sued his former mistress, claiming that the $ 2 million he transferred to her via a series of payments during their relationship consisted of in loans.
Mr. Toh, who has three adult children from a previous marriage, met Ms. Jiang in November 2016, when she was 55 and she was 30.
They started a romantic relationship the following month, but by May 2017, they had drifted apart.
He then sued Ms. Jiang in the High Court in an attempt to recover the $ 2 million.
Mr Toh, whom the Straits Times understands to be a director and shareholder of several companies, including a recycling company, relied on a loan agreement signed in March 2017 as evidence to support his claim.
But Ms. Jiang said that the money she received was more of a gift.
She claimed that the 2017 agreement, signed by the two of them, was a forged document to appease Mr. Toh’s wife, improve her standing among family and friends, and secure a loan from one of her companies.
Last year, the High Court ruled that approximately $ 680,000 of the requested $ 2 million had been transferred to Ms. Jiang as gifts and not collectable by Mr. Toh.
He decided that it should be repaid $ 1.12 million once such an amount became due under the loan agreement.
The court said that the businessman also had to pay Ms. Jiang separately $ 45,000 that he owed her.
Mr. Toh and Ms. Jiang appealed the decision.
On Friday, the Court of Appeals overturned the findings of the 2017 agreement, claiming that it was a fictitious document and therefore Ms. Jiang did not have to repay the 1.12 million. dollars.
However, he upheld the other decisions of the High Court.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the duo intended to use the 2017 agreement to give the impression to third parties that the money was being loaned to Ms. Jiang, even though there was no such loan.
He noted that the agreement stated that the money was intended for Ms. Jiang to purchase a property at 9 Hillcrest Road, near Bukit Timah Road. The property was ultimately not purchased.
But the $ 2 million included money Mr. Toh, represented by lawyers Anthony Lee and Wang Liansheng, had given him for unrelated expenses before the deal was signed.
“There was no good reason to requalify them as loans for the purpose of buying 9 Hillcrest Road, because that was obviously wrong,” the court said.
He also said that the introduction of the 2017 document as a formal trade deal seemed “incongruous,” in light of previous monetary gifts and their romantic relationship.
The appeals court also noted that Mr. Toh referred to Ms. Jiang as a “woman” as early as January 1, 2017. They also referred to 9 Hillcrest Road as their “home” in various WeChat messages.
It further supported the assertion by Ms. Jiang, who is represented by attorneys Mahesh Rai and Stephania Wong, that the money was not intended to be a loan.
The three appellate judges disagreed with the High Court’s view that two provisions of the Evidence Act applied when considering Ms. Jiang’s claim that the The deal was a sham.
The provisions – which deal with proof of the terms of a contract – did not apply because his request primarily concerned the existence of a contract, the court said.