The mother-in-law of deceased gangster Raymond Huang has been blown out of court after trying to claim damages for breach of contract.
Mei Zhang Wang sued Feng Yun Shao for backing out of a 2009 agreement to buy her six-bedroom mansion at 3883 Cartier Street in Shaughnessy.
Shao cancelled the purchase after learning about the violent death of Huang outside the gates two years earlier.
This wasn't disclosed when the women agreed to a sale price of more than $6.1 million.
Shao filed a counterclaim in B.C. Supreme Court seeking the return of her $300,000 deposit and additional damages of $338,000.
"The defendant submits that the plaintiff’s failure to disclose the violent death of her son‑in‑law, Raymond Huang, at or near the front of the property on November 3, 2007 entitled her to repudiate the contract," wrote Justice Paul J. Pearlman in his ruling. "Ms. Shao submits the plaintiff was obliged to disclose the death of Mr. Huang on two grounds.
"First, Ms. Shao contends that the death was a material defect in the property," the judge continued. "The defendant alleges Mr. Huang was a leading member of the Big Circle Boys, a Chinese gang. She says that the occupancy of the property by Mr. Huang and his subsequent unsolved murder rendered the property dangerous, or potentially dangerous, and constituted a latent defect, which the plaintiff failed to disclose."
Shao claimed that upon learning of Huang's demise at that location, she became concerned about her family's safety.
Pearlman ruled that Shao "was induced to enter into the contract for the purchase of the property by fraudulent misrepresentation".
As a result, the judge ordered that she receive her deposit back, plus accrued interest.
He also granted an award of $4,040.44 in damages to cover expenses incurred by Shao in seeking legal advice from a downtown law firm.
Wang's claim of breach of contract was dismissed.
After the deal fell through, Wang later sold the home to another buyer for $5.5 million.
According to the ruling, Wang is an 84-year-old resident of Guangzhou, China, who speaks Cantonese but cannot read and write anything apart from her name.
She and her husband moved to Canada in 2004 and her daughter, Yuan Gui Ying, put the property in her mother's name in 2006.
Wang moved back to China in 2007. Her daughter conducted all the dealings with the real-estate agent in the sale of the home.
Yuan testified that she thought Huang was a businessman who owned a trucking company and a restaurant.
"She denied he was a member or leader of the Big Circle Boys and said she did not think he was involved in any criminal organization, explaining the Mr. Huang was 'usually alone'," Pearlman wrote in his ruling.
According to a 2013 article in the Globe and Mail, Yuan was convicted in Hong Kong of conspiracy and dealing with a property representing the proceeds of a criminal offence.
Shao is a Canadian citizen who moved to Canada in 2007. She has a master's degree in economics management from Shanghai Communications University and operates a retail clothing business.More