A man passed $1.66 million to his daughter to help him purchase a semi-detached house but later found out that she had bought the property under her own name and he did not have any stake in it.
Mr Huang Su took his daughter, Ms Huang Yulan, to court but died before a verdict was delivered.
His eldest son, Mr Huang Yu, continued with the lawsuit in his name, demanding that his sister accounts for the missing sum that his father had passed her.
According to Lianhe Wanbao, Mr Huang and his wife, Madam Wu Yazha, had come to Singapore from Malaysia in the 1950s.
Mr Huang, a student at a Chinese school, spoke no English and only had a primary school education.
The couple used their savings to buy a plot of land in Aljunied in 1955, where they stayed with their 10 children — seven sons and three daughters.
Twelve years later, Mr Huang started a construction business with a sibling and his eldest son.
They tore down some kampung houses in Jalan Raya and built two semi-detached houses.
Mr Huang, his wife, and eldest son stayed in the bigger one of the two, while some of his children stayed in the smaller one.
Madam Wu passed away in 1985, and the two semi-detached houses under her name were given to her husband and children as instructed in her will.
The family did not immediately attempt to sell the house and split the assets, and Mr Huang later had a falling out with his eldest son over matters relating to the company,
Mr Huang Su then moved into the smaller house next door to stay his daughter Ms Huang Yulan, and her family.
Mr Huang Yu took his father to court the same year, alleging that his father had attempted to suppress his voice in the company, using his position as a major shareholder.
After that, the two houses at Jalan Raya were placed up for sale, and Ms Huang Yulan purchased another semi-detached house at 43 Eastwood Drive for $1.75 million.
Mr Huang Su moved in with Ms Huang Yulan and her family into the new home.
In March 2015, Mr Huang Su and Mr Huang Yu reconciled their differences, and the senior Mr Huang asked his son to check the deed of the Eastwood Drive property.
Mr Huang Su later found out that the property had been registered solely under Ms Huang Yulan’s names and felt deceived, citing that he had paid $1,662,500 of the $1.75 million for the house.
In May 2015, Mr Huang Su moved to stay with his Mr Huang Yu again.
Mr Huang Su served a lawyer’s letter to Ms Huang Yulan a month after moving and accused her of using his money to pay for the house.
He alleged that this ‘did not just constitute misappropriation of funds, but also could have involved cheating and forgery of documents’.
Mr Huang Su also lodged a police report over the case.
Two months, later, he formally sued Ms Huang Yulan.
However, just before a verdict was reached, Mr Huang Su was discovered dead on a field in front of Mr Huang Yu’s flat in February 2016.
He was suspected to have jumped to his death and was 89 years old then.
Mr Huang Yu was appointed the sole executor of his father’s will and carried on with the lawsuit against his sister.
Through his lawyer Mr Shriniwas Rai, Mr Huang Yu hopes to recover the $1.66 million given by his father to Ms Huang Yu, as well as another $120,000 she had withdrawn under her father’s name.
This amounts to $1,780,000.
The High Court judge delivered a verdict on Tuesday, saying that Mr Huang Yulan had deliberately planned for Mr Huang Su to pass her the profits from the sale of the houses at Jalan Raya, so she could buy the property at Eastwood Drive under her own name.
In addition, he ruled that Mr Huang Su did not give his consent for Ms Huang Yulan to redraw $120,000 for the renovation of the house.
Ms Huang Yulan has appealed against the verdict.