October 24, 2010; Source: Bloomberg News | When Nina Wang, China’s richest woman, died in 2007 she left $12 billion, a sum which Tony Chan, her Feng Shui advisor, tried to claim for himself. According to Bloomberg News,
Feng shui, literally translated as “wind and water,” is a 5,000-year-old Chinese practice of arranging the physical environment to harmonize with the daily lives of people who live within it. Feng shui masters used the practice to advise emperors for the best locations of their palaces and tombs.
Chan argued that he and Wang had been lovers for 15 years and that she left the money to him. But the courts have now awarded the fortune to Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd. and will be prosecuting Chan for forgery and other charges.
Sign up for our free newsletters
Subscribe to NPQ's newsletters to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
The foundation was founded by Wang and her late husband in 1988 as a sort of Chinese Nobel Prize to recognize work of worldwide significance. The foundation will be supervised by a body formed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, the premier of China, and the chief executive of Hong Kong, according to a February ruling.
But the story is more intricate than that. Wang’s late husband Teddy was kidnapped twice. The first time was in 1983 when a $33 million ransom was paid and he was returned. The second time was in 1990 and Teddy never returned. After two years, Ms. Wang, who at the time was 69 years old, hired Chan to find her husband. Chan dug holes at a number of sites on the Wang estate but Teddy was never found. Still, Wang reportedly paid him $270 million over the years.—Ruth McCambridge