The curious case of former China tour guide, Yang Yin (杨寅), 40 and his relationship with multi-millionaire widow, Mdm Chung Khin Chun, 87, has been widely reported by the Singapore media, captivating the attention of the nation.

Yang had been in the news in recent weeks for a court case over his Lasting Power of Authority (LPA) over the assets of Mdm Chung. Mdm Chung’s niece, Mdm Hedy Mok, filed the court application to have his LPA revoked on the grounds that Mr Yang had manipulated and ill-treated Mdm Chung in order to control her assets worth some S$40 million. After the case came to light, it was later discovered that Mr Yang may have also falsified other claims, among other juicy updates.

Admittedly, I am not perfectly informed of all the salacious details or latest developments. Nonetheless, when piecing the story together based on what I have read, it is obvious that Yang Yin had the intention to swallow up Mdm Chung’s fortune, never mind whether it is via legal or illegal means. I am of the theory that Yang would have gotten the S$40 million and more if he was a better crook and used his brain more.

If you have the intention to scam wealthy old folks of their fortunes, here are some learnings from Yang Yin to be a better crook:

1. Do not keep a diary of your crime. Yang allegedly kept a diary on his roadmap to wealth, documenting his plots and deeds. This is really dumb. He had ample time to destroy the book when the case first surfaced, but somehow, it has now landed in the hands of the police. Dumber.

Yang Yin's

Yang Yin’s “Roadmap to Wealth Sutra” found. Eight witnesses to testify against Yang.

2. Patience. Yang claimed that Mdm Chung had adopted him as a god-grandson. If Yang treated Mdm Chung well, took care of her, be courteous and nice to Mdm Chung’s friends, relatives, employees and loved ones, no one would harbour any ill wills towards him. Yang alleged that trouble started brewing when he cut off Mdm Chung’s monthly remittance to her sister and niece. He also fired her driver and kicked out Mdm Chung’s good friend who had been staying with her for ages. He really should have just played the good guy and waited for his time.

Sell off all Mdm Chung's jewelry

Sell off all Mdm Chung’s jewelry

3. Do not boast and flaunt your wealth online, leaving loads of digital trails and records for investigators. Yang seems to enjoy flaunting his unaccounted wealth online, uploading pictures of expensive vacations with his wife and kids, as well as boasting that he will become very rich soon. There is a reason why many politicians drive cheap cars and live in humble homes. Do not count your chicks before the eggs hatch.

Yang Yin with his family at Marina Bay Sands

Yang Yin with his family at Marina Bay Sands

4. Do not sell away stolen art items and other stuff online, again, leaving loads of digital trails and records for investigators. As I said, Yang does not seem to have much of a brain. Worse still, he appeared to have sold the rare art pieces at bargain prices, without reaping the full worths.

Fire sale!

Fire sale!

5. Do not self-inflate your personal status with bogus titles on crazy name cards. Unless you are as rich as the eccentric Chinese multi-millionaire, Chen Guangbiao, people are going to check all your credentials on your dubious looking name card. Yang was in hot soup after the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry made a police report against him for misrepresenting himself as the association’s director.

Yang Yin rubbing shoulders with Singapore's elites, including the Prime Minister.

Yang Yin rubbing shoulders with Singapore’s elites, including the Prime Minister.

6. Lastly, have a better dress sense. The mafia dons always look sharp and dapper, even when appearing in court. Yang’s frazzled hairdo is too fun to spoof. Getting arrested wearing like this doesn’t help either:

Nice tee-shirt, nice belt, nice pants, nice jacket, nice hairdo and nice plastic bag. They all go very well together.

Nice tee-shirt, nice belt, nice pants, nice jacket, nice hairdo and nice plastic bag. They all go very well together.

Obviously, this post is written tongue-in-cheek. Scammers deserve to go to jail. If you aspire to be like Yang Yin, at least learn from all his negative examples and be a better, smarter crook!