Son cheated mother out of flat, writ says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 12:00am

A bitter family dispute has resulted in claims that a son cheated his mother out of her HK$20 million property.

Wu Siu-fan, 76, filed a lawsuit in the High Court this week accusing her son, Yip Wai-ki, 51, of reneging on a promise to care for his widowed mother - and then stealing a home that she had bought for herself and Mr Yip's family. None of the allegations had been proven.

'The defendant pledged to the plaintiff that he would, as a son, personally take care of her during her advanced age by moving into the plaintiff's home together with his family,' the writ said.

To that end, Ms Wu said, she asked her son if he and his family would live with her in a flat that was for sale in Repulse Bay Garden, Belleview Drive, Repulse Bay. The apartment was next to Ms Wu's existing flat, her writ said. Mr Yip's family would take care of Ms Wu in exchange for free rent, an arrangement that he had agreed to, according to the writ.

In September 2007, Ms Wu said, she asked her son to buy the home on her behalf and register the property in her name. She then deposited HK$20 million into her son's bank account, the writ said. But things turned sour last April.

'The plaintiff discovered that instead of registering the plaintiff as the registered owner of the property, the defendant had fraudulently ... purchased the property and registered it under his sole name, contrary to the clear intention [between mother and son], ' the lawsuit said.

'The defendant was well aware of the purposes of the deposits into his bank account.'

Mr Yip then put the property up for sale without telling his mother or fulfilling his promise to care for her, the writ said.

Ms Wu said her son had ignored repeated demands for the money.