Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wang Wars

In 1968 Teddy Wang, founder of Chemchina, a paint and chemical business, allegedly discovered his wife Nina was having an affair, so he changed his will. Instead of his wife, he named his father the beneficiary of his $128 million dollar estate. In 1990 Mr. Wang was kidnapped for ransom and was probably murdered. He was declared dead in 1999.

Nina (known as "Little Sweetie", thanks to her trademark pig-tails, heavy make-up and mini-skirts)produced a second will dated a month before her husband's disappearance, which named her as the sole beneficiary. In 2002 a Hong Kong judge ruled that Nina had probably forged the will and awarded the estate to Teddy Wang's father. That ruling was overturned by Hong Kong's highest court in 2005.

Under Mrs. Wong, Chemchina became a real estate giant in Hong Kong and her personal wealth increased to an estimated $4.2 billion dollars. When she died in 2007 of cancer, Mrs. Wong, who had no children, left a will which gave her fortune to her charitable foundation, which she hoped would fund a Chinese version of the Nobel Prize.

Enter Tony Chan, a bartender turned feng shui master and married father of three. In an ironic twist of fate, he's showing up with a second will.

Mr. Chan was introduced to Mrs. Wong on a promise that he could help her find her husband using something like a Ouija Board. Apparently Mrs. Wong was a very superstitious person. This initial meeting led to a series of bizarre events which included midnight meetings where Ms. Wang and Mr. Chan would run around to various real estate holdings and throw jade into the ground and a "reincarnation ceremony" where Ms. Wang spent a night in a coffin in order to attain eternal life.

In the last few years of her life, Mrs. Wang gave Mr. Chan hundreds of millions of dollars. He claims that they had been lover's for 15 years. Her family denies that is even a possibility and claims Tony Chan duped her by playing on her suspicions and fears.

In another ironic twist of fate, the second will was said to be forgery by the two handwriting experts including one chosen by Tony Chan.

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