Chan

Chan faces punishment over failure to disclose assets

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 March, 2012, 12:00am

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Embattled fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen could be jailed for allegedly failing to disclose his assets, if a new legal action succeeds.

The administrators of the estate of late businesswoman Nina 'Little Sweetie' Wang Kung Yu-sum - once Asia's richest woman - have applied to the High Court for Chan to be 'committed' for not complying with a court order to disclose his assets by February 23.

The administrators' action was spurred by Chan's numerous failed attempts to delay compliance with the disclosure order. According to court documents, the High Court granted the administrators leave to lodge the application for an 'order of committal' on March 2.

Under to the Rules of the High Court, Chan will be imprisoned if the court is satisfied he is guilty of contempt of court.

In reply, Chan (pictured) said: 'I will absolutely comply with all court orders.' He said the matter would be handled by lawyers and refused to comment further.

The disclosure order is part of Mr Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor's decision to freeze Chan's assets over concerns he might try to dodge a HK$130 million legal bill from Wang's estate. The bill stems from Chan's prolonged battle with Chinachem Charitable Foundation for control of the HK$50 billion estate.

Chan claimed to be Wang's lover and a beneficiary of a will dated 2006, a year before Wang died of cancer, but his claim was dismissed after the court ruled the will was fake.

Estate administrators Joseph Lo Kin-ching and Derek Lai Kai-yan are asking Chan to attend a court hearing on May 8.

According to court papers, Poon ordered Chan on December 21 to inform the estate administrators of the value, location and details of each of his assets worth HK$100,000 or more in or outside Hong Kong.

Chan's lawyers later sought another 21 days to comply with the order but the request was refused by Deputy High Court Judge Queeny Au-Yeung Kwai-yue , who extended the deadline to January 13.

Chan's lawyer then took out another application, which was dismissed by Poon on February 9. Chan was then given another 14 days to comply with the disclosure order but on February 23, the deadline, he once again asked the court for an extension, which Poon dismissed on March 2, saying he had given Chan more than ample time to comply.

Last month, in a document explaining his decision to freeze Chan's assets, Poon cited the Court of Appeal and Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon as saying Chan was 'thoroughly dishonest and untrustworthy'.

'Given his dishonesty, complete lack of integrity and commercial morality, and his audacity to perpetuate a deception to obtain financial advantages, there is a real risk that he might take steps to dissipate his assets in order to avoid payment of the additional costs,' Poon said.