High Court Won’t Hear Case Involving Dismembered West Vancouver Billionaire’s Estate

Now the Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal from the woman whose identity is protected by a ban but who is described as Mother 1, the first of five women who had a child with Yuan and who claims to be her spouse.


When Chinese-born, West Vancouver-based billionaire Gang Yuan was hit with a hammer, shot twice, and his body cut into 108 pieces in 2015, the simplest part of the story ended with a conviction for involuntary manslaughter, but the fate of Yuan’s fortune remained largely unclear.

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Now the Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal from the woman whose identity is protected by a ban but who is described as Mother 1, the first of five women who had a child with Yuan and who claims to be her spouse.

Thursday’s dismissal of the application for leave to appeal ends Mother 1’s long legal battle to be declared his wife which, because Yuan died without a will, would have entitled her to half of his $7 estate. million to $21 million, while Canadian law would have split the rest. among her five children.

The BC Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling and dismissed Mother 1’s spousal suit last December, finding no “marriage-like relationship” between her and Yuan, even though the two had met before. for Yuan to come to Canada and he supported her in China. where she lived with her parents and took care of her.

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As is customary, the Canadian Supreme Court did not explain the reasons for its decision on Mother 1’s application.

The property dispute gained notoriety due to Yuan’s untimely and bloody death at the hands of his once favorite business partner, Li Zhao.

Court documents from Zhao’s 2020 BC Supreme Court trial show that he disapproved of Yuan’s playboy lifestyle and treatment of women, but Yuan, Zhao and Zhao’s family shared a large house in West Vancouver and they got along well enough.

That was until May 2, 2015, when the two feuded after Zhao believed Yuan first made disparaging remarks about Zhao’s fabrication and then compounded the offense by offering to marry Zhao’s beloved only daughter as part of the contract. price of financing the invention.

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The documents detail a prolonged and brutal fight between the two men that only ended in their driveway when Zhao, who told investigators he feared “his life was in danger,” fired twice at close range with a rifle. which is mainly used to shoot rabbits.

Yuan was hit in the neck and died on the driveway.

Finding Zhao guilty of involuntary manslaughter, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes, in his oral ruling issued in 2020, said that’s when things got “certainly weird.”

Zhao attempted to dispose of the body by using power tools to cut it into what the ruling described as “108 discrete fragments.”

The 55-year-old even explained his hair-raising job in the home’s garage by agreeing with the family’s nanny, as he passed by, that he had been out hunting and had “shot a bear.”

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Earlier, Zhao had ordered his wife and elderly mother-in-law away from the scene, but they eventually asked a family friend to help them call the police, and Zhao was arrested at home the next morning and charged. of second degree murder.

Schultes ruled that the Crown failed to prove intent to convict on that charge and found Zhao guilty of involuntary manslaughter and interfering with human remains, sentencing him to 10 years and six months on both counts.

Because Zhao had never requested bail while awaiting trial and the case was dragged out by delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sentence handed down nearly two years ago was reduced to reflect credit for pre-trial detention, leaving a total remaining term of two years. , four months and eight days to be served for Yuan’s murder.

If Zhao did not seek early release, he will have completed his entire sentence by early 2023.

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