Two sisters have been content to allow “sleeping pet dogs lie” immediately after they uncovered that their brother had used money from the family business enterprise for his very own family’s costs.
However, they made the decision to convey the subject to mild after his son, on his behalf, made the decision to sue them and their late mother’s estate more than debts owed by the business enterprise to a bank.
The Superior Court docket has dismissed the lawsuit in opposition to Ms Lee Gin Hong and Ms Lee Gim Moi, holding that their brother, Mr Lee Ker Min, should to account for sums he experienced withdrawn for his own use.
According to the judgment dated past Thursday, the siblings’ father – Mr Lee Kim Eng – began Lee Huat Enterprise in 1958.
The small business, which is a retailer of bikes, motor scooters and similar components as effectively as a workshop, operates at a shophouse in Upper Bukit Timah Street.
In 1975, the youthful Mr Lee was appointed a partner in the company. His mother, Madam Ng Ang Chum, was also registered as a partner right after the elder Mr Lee died in 1981.
In July 2014, Mr Lee Ker Min experienced a stroke that incapacitated him, and the enterprise was subsequently managed by his 2nd son, Mr Jeffrey Lee Kai Leong.
Madam Ng died in December that 12 months, and her daughters – Ms Lee Gin Hong and Ms Lee Gim Moi – grew to become executors of her estate.
Tensions later on arose between the sisters and their brother’s household above the reimbursement of the partnership’s overdraft facility with United Abroad Financial institution acquired in 2000.
Mr Lee sued his sisters through his eldest son, Mr Roland Lee Kai Teck, seeking a declaration from the court docket that the partnership had a personal debt of $740,214 to the lender at the time of Madam Ng’s demise and that his sisters had to spend half of it as executors of their mother’s estate.
Amongst other claims, he claimed his sisters experienced acted in terrible religion in administering their mother’s estate.
Mr Roland Lee stated in an affidavit that Madam Ng was an “extremely wise female” and “properly versed” with every component of the business enterprise.
Mr Roland Lee also stated Madam Ng retained command of the company following his father endured a stroke, with his aunts operating it and instructing Mr Jeffrey Lee.
In distinction, the sisters, in their testimony, reported Madam Ng was illiterate, never obtained any profits from the business enterprise while she was a husband or wife, and did not consider portion in operating the business. Their brother experienced managed the enterprise on his individual until finally his stroke, just after which Mr Jeffrey Lee took over, they additional.
They also said their brother had applied large sums – totalling almost $2.6 million – from the partnership’s cash, these kinds of as the overdraft facility and its other bank accounts, for his particular charges these types of as the acquire of quite a few houses and financial investment in other organizations.
Senior Judge Lai Siu Chiu mentioned in her judgment that the money taken by Mr Lee is a debt owed to Madam Ng, and as a result to her estate. Until eventually the personal debt is settled and repaid, Madam Ng’s estate is not obliged to repay half of the business’ financial debt to the bank, the judge explained.
She claimed the sisters could choose to utilize for an inquiry to trace and get better the money that Mr Lee had withdrawn from the company.
Senior Decide Lai explained it was absurd for Mr Lee to have refused to acknowledge that Madam Ng was illiterate when just one of his personal witnesses experienced previously said this was so.
“The court docket finds it disgraceful and deplorable that the plaintiff’s sons/relatives have preferred to sue their paternal aunts and their grandmother’s estate after the plaintiff was incapacitated by a stroke and at the exact same time, refuse to repay or account for all/any of the monies the plaintiff took from the partnership,” she added.
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