SINGAPORE (ANN): A 55-year-old businessman who paid out S$2mil (RM6.03mil) to his mistress over a three-month period has sued her to get back the money, claiming that the sum was a loan.
But property agent Angelina Jiang, 33, has produced chat messages to argue that the money was a gift to her that Toh Eng Tiah was not entitled to reclaim.
Toh, who also goes by the name Andy, said in one message: "Give birth to a daughter will have a reward of 2 million."
In other messages, he told her "don't need to pay the money back to me" and "I have given you $2 million as a gift".
Citing these messages as the case opened in the High Court on Monday (Aug 19), Jiang's lawyer, Mahesh Rai, said Toh was acting "dishonourably" by going back on his word and trying to claw back the money.
"The evidence will show that the parties were in a romantic relationship and that the monies had been given to Jiang unconditionally as gifts," he said in his opening statement.
Toh's lawyer, Anthony Lee, responded by calling Jiang a "money grabber".
Lee argued that his client never intended to gift Jiang S$2mil and that the series of payments from Toh to her made between December 2016 and March 2017 was a loan that had to be repaid.
Toh runs three companies that collect and sell recycled materials. He has two children from his first marriage and one out of wedlock, but none from his current marriage.
Jiang is a property agent who made as much as S$700,000 (RM2.11mil) a year and owns two properties, the court heard. The Chinese national became a Singapore citizen in 2014 and has two children from a previous marriage.
The two met in November 2016, when Toh contacted Jiang after seeing a newspaper advertisement for a property sale.
They soon began a relationship, with Toh showering Jiang with expensive gifts and even giving her the personal identification number to his debit card, said Rai.
At a temple in January 2017, Toh vowed, among other things, to pay her living expenses and credit card bills, set up a home with her and take care of their children, he added.
Toh had told Jiang that he was unhappy in his marriage and asked for her help to look for a divorce lawyer, said Rai.
On March 24, 2017, both parties signed a loan agreement prepared by their respective lawyers.
Prior to the signing of the document, Toh had paid more than S$1mil (RM3.01mil) to Jiang, although the exact amount is disputed.
After the agreement was signed, he paid her another S$872,000 (RM2.63mil).
On April 19, 2017, Jiang discovered that she was pregnant and a month later, Toh became uncontactable.
On June 13, 2017, Jiang received a letter from Toh's lawyers, demanding that she repay the S$2mil. More than two weeks later, she suffered a miscarriage.
Toh denies fathering her child and to date, has refused to undergo a paternity test.
Rai told the court that Jiang had a DNA profile done of the unborn child, which is waiting to be matched with the father's.
Both sides now argue – for different reasons – that the loan agreement is not valid.
Jiang claims that the agreement was a sham document that Toh could show his wife that he had only lent his lover the money and would eventually be repaid.
Toh contends that the agreement should be declared null and void as he had signed it under Jiang's undue influence and the terms were unfair to him.
However, Toh argues that the document was evidence to support his version that the S$2mil was a loan.
The trial continues. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful