Businessman sues mistress to recover $2m he had given her, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Businessman sues mistress to recover $2m he had given her

This article is more than 12 months old

He claims the money was a loan, but she counters that his messages to her prove that it was a gift

A 55-year-old businessman has taken his mistress to court, claiming that the $2 million he gave her was a loan and must be repaid.

But property agent Angelina Jiang, 33, argues that Mr Toh Eng Tiah's chat messages to her prove the money was a gift that he is not entitled to reclaim.

In one message, Mr Toh, who also goes by the name Andy, said: "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 trial opened in the High Court yesterday, Ms Jiang's lawyer, Mr Mahesh Rai, said Mr Toh was acting "dishonourably" by going back on his word.

He said in his opening statement: "The evidence will show that the parties were in a romantic relationship and that the monies had been given to Ms Jiang unconditionally as gifts."

Calling Ms Jiang a "money grabber", Mr Toh's lawyer, Mr Anthony Lee, countered that his client never intended the $2 million to be a gift for Ms Jiang.

The series of payments to her between December 2016 and March 2017 was a loan that had to be repaid, he added.

Mr Toh, who runs three companies selling recycled materials, has two children from his first marriage and one out of wedlock, but none from his current marriage.

As a property agent, Ms Jiang makes up to $700,000 a year and owns two properties. The Chinese national became a Singapore citizen in 2014 and has two children from a previous marriage.

The two met in November 2016 when Mr Toh contacted Ms Jiang over a property sale.

They soon began a relationship, and Mr Toh gave Ms Jiang expensive gifts and even the personal identification number to his debit card, said Mr Rai.

He also vowed at a temple in January 2017 to pay her living expenses and credit card bills, set up a home with her and take care of their children.

Mr Toh told Ms Jiang he was unhappy in his marriage and asked for her help to look for a divorce lawyer, Mr Rai added.

On March 24, both parties signed a loan agreement prepared by their respective lawyers. Before signing the document, Mr Toh paid more than $1 million to Ms Jiang, though the exact amount is disputed. After signing the agreement, he paid her another $872,000.

On April 19, Ms Jiang discovered that she was pregnant. A month later, Mr Toh became uncontactable.

On June 13, she received a letter from his lawyers, demanding that she repay the $2 million. More than two weeks later, she had a miscarriage.

Mr Toh denies fathering her child and refuses to take a paternity test. Mr Rai said Ms Jiang had a DNA profile done of the unborn child, which is waiting to be matched with Mr Toh's.

Both sides now argue - for different reasons - that the loan agreement is not valid.

Ms Jiang claims the agreement was a sham document for Mr Toh to show his wife he had only lent his lover the money and would eventually be repaid.

Mr Toh wants the agreement to be declared null and void as he had signed it under Ms Jiang's undue influence and the terms were unfair to him. He also argues the document was evidence to support his claim the $2 million was a loan.

The trial continues.