University dropout Yeung Mei-mei was a big tipper, lived in luxury hotels like the Landmark Mandarin Oriental and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. But it was a lifestyle funded by fraud, with Yeung admitting yesterday to having deceived a friend and the friend's family out of more than HK$720,000. The District Court heard that Yeung had targeted and made friends with Ng Tsz-yi, who worked at a salon in Central that she regularly patronised. Acting as a big tipper, Yeung gained Ng's trust and Ng later introduced her parents and her boyfriend, Tsang Kin-on, to Yeung. They all became victims of the scam. Yeung, 31, pleaded guilty yesterday to 24 charges, including 11 counts of fraud and 13 counts of obtaining property by deception totalling HK$728,865 between March and May 2008. Her lawyer, Eleanor Cheng Sin-yu, said Yeung had suffered from an impulse control disorder since the late 1990s. Yeung first discovered she had difficulty controlling herself when shopping after she arrived in the United States to attend the University of California at Los Angeles in 1998. During her second year in college, Yeung got into heavy debt because she kept buying luxury goods to please her boyfriend. She once had debts of HK$6 million, but they were settled by her family, who ran businesses. A tearful Yeung apologised to her family in court and said she regretted what she had done. 'I have lived in a body without a soul for almost 30 years,' she cried. 'I am very sorry to my parents.' Prosecutor Peggy Leung Po-kei said that after Yeung became friends with Ng and Tsang, she started to make up different excuses to ask for money. On one occasion, Yeung told Ng that she would like to take her on a business trip, but money was needed as a security deposit to apply for the entry permit. Yeung also told Ng that she needed her ATM card and pin number to process the application. Ng handed over HK$30,000. Also placing their trust in Yeung, Ng's parents handed their credit cards to her. Yeung used them to settle bills at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental and to buy Lane Crawford gift vouchers and clothes from a boutique. When Ng's parents mentioned to Yeung that the company they operated had a cash flow problem, she told them she could arrange a HK$4 million loan. However, she said, the couple would have to deposit more than HK$200,000 into an account as security to obtain the loan. The case came to light when Ng's mother realised the credit cards had been used and demanded Yeung pay the money back. Deputy Judge Josiah Lam Wai-kuen adjourned sentencing to January 25, pending reports.