Grandfather says son's family bought flat with HK$2m given for safekeeping

Man gave grandson money to look after in 2009, but family revealed last year they had spent it, court documents say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 5:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 5:51pm

A man is taking his son’s family to court after realising the savings of HK$2 million he entrusted to his teenage grandson were used to pay for a flat in Yau Tong, a High Court’s writ shows.

To Shing-nam claimed he asked the boy, To Wing-hung, in 2009 to keep the money so he could avoid getting bugged by bank staff offering him investment opportunities.

But the cash was transferred again just two weeks later, to an account of Wing-hung’s parents. To was kept in the dark until last year, he said in the writ.

“[The couple] knew well or ought to have known that [Wing-hung], who was only 15 years old in October 2009 and only a pupil, could not have had HK$2 million of his own and must have got the sum from the [grandfather],” the writ says.

To is seeking to claim the money back from his son To Hiu-fung, daughter-in-law To Chui-pik and their son.

According to the writ, he first suggested the plan to Wing-hung in 2008, making clear that the money was not a gift.

Wing-hung, then 14 , followed the instructions of his grandfather and opened a bank account in his name only.

On August 15 and October 10, 2009, the grandfather moved his savings to the account.

He stressed that Wing-hung was only a temporary keeper of the cash – though he allowed the teenager to hold the passbook.

In March last year, he asked to see the passbook, a request that, he said, Wing-hung acceded to reluctantly.

The grandson then admitted that the HK$2 million was withdrawn two weeks after the second transfer, saying his parents had used it to pay for their flat at Lei On Court, Lei Yue Mun Road, in 2009.

The flat purchase was completed in September 2010 at a price of HK$3 million.

To Shing-nam wants the court to declare he is the owner of the HK$2 million and to order his son’s family to return him the money.

Alternatively, the court can order them to sell the property and give him 66 per cent of the sale price, the writ says.