Tycoon's son sues for dad's black book

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2012, 12:00am


In the latest twist to the fight over the wealth of Henry Fok Ying-tung, the late tycoon's third son is suing his elder brother Timothy Fok Tsun-ting for keeping a 'black book' containing their father's financial records.

In the third such writ that Benjamin Fok Chun-yue, an executor of Henry Fok's estate, has filed in the High Court, he says Timothy Fok, a Legco member for the functional constituency of sports, performing arts, culture and publications, is holding the book in which their late father kept records of his assets and other information.

Benjamin Fok says in the court filing that their father used to keep the record book in a briefcase. After the tycoon's death, he alleges, Timothy Fok removed the book and had refused to hand it over despite repeated requests.

Henry Fok, who made massive investments in the mainland and rose to be a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, died of cancer aged 83 in 2006. He was married three times, had 13 children, and had wealth estimated at US$3.7 billion in 2006.

Benjamin is asking his brother to return the book or swear an affidavit to confirm that he no longer has or has control of it and to explain what has become of it.

The latest claim comes after a bid by Benjamin Fok in December to dislodge another elder brother, the businessman and Silver Bauhinia Star winner Ian Fok Chun-wan, and his father's 85-year-old sister from their role as executors of the estate.

Timothy, Ian and Benjamin are respectively the second, third and fifth children of Henry Fok's first family. Ian, Benjamin and their aunt Fok Mo-kan were the executors and trustees of the tycoon's estate.

In the latest court document, Benjamin Fok also renews his allegation that Ian Fok distributed and took assets from the estate without the knowledge or consent of the other executors, and failed to provide the information and authorisations needed for the proper administration of the estate.

Benjamin Fok is trying to recover from Ian the shareholding of several offshore companies, the assets in offshore bank accounts and shares in Henry Fok Estates, a company which is part of the late tycoon's business empire and asset base.

According to the court documents, Ian Fok claimed he paid for 350 ordinary shares in Henry Fok Estates. But Benjamin says the shares are held by a company of which the three brothers are shareholders and directors.

Benjamin also says in 2008 Ian transferred HK$53 million from three overseas bank accounts in the joint name of Ian and their father to Ian's personal accounts.

Another allegation is that Ian Fok has given Henry Fok's second and third families HK$509 million and failed to provide the executor of the estate with access to jewellery, valuable artefacts and antique furniture worth HK$90 million.

The writ seeking to remove Ian and the aunt from being the executor of the estate will be heard on April 23 for a summary judgment. No timetable has been set for hearing the other two writs.