Family of man murdered in China claims accused killer used victim's funds to buy millions in B.C. real estate

Photo: Mike Wakefield, North Shore News

The family of a man murdered in China in July 2017 is suing his alleged killer, claiming a debt of more than $113 million that was supposed to be invested in the Chinese mining industry that instead went into the Lower Mainland real estate market.

Yu Fang Liu, Yan Yang, Wen Li Yang, Wen Tao Yang and Si Yi Pang as "intestate successors" of Changbin Yang filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on June 27 against Long Ni, a businessman, his wife Li Juan Chen, a homemaker, and his daughter Ke Qing Ni, a student.

The family, all permanent residents of Canada except Yan Yang, a Chinese citizen, claim defendant Long Ni promised high returns on investments in China's mining industry if the deceased lent him money. Between September 2011 and April 2018, the claim says, Long Ni borrowed the equivalent of approximately $113,472,727 in total.

"The deceased claimed the debts from the defendant Long Ni many times before his death but did not receive any payment," the claim states. "The defendant Long Ni murdered the deceased on July 25, 2017, in China and the defendant Long Ni is charged with murder and is currently prisoned [sic] in Hubei Province, China."

According to the lawsuit, Long Ni murdered Changbin Yang to avoid repaying the debt. Instead of investing in the Chinese mining industry, Long Ni allegedly used the money to buy B.C. real estate. The family claims the defendants own eight properties including 925 West 33rd Ave., which was assessed at just over $5 million last year; 2159 West 47th Ave., assessed at $2.58 million; 5112 Granville St., assessed at $3.29 million; 4688 West 14th Ave., assessed at $3.23 million; 2306 West 12th Ave., assessed at $2.61 million; 7659 Sussex Ave. in Burnaby, assessed at $2.27 million; 3102-6588 Nelson Ave. in Burnaby, assessed at $834,000; and 5988 Adera St., assessed at $9.62 million but sold for $10.5 million in March 2018, according to the BC Assessment Authority.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment of $113,472,727 for debt, conversion and unjust enrichment. They also seek certificates of pending litigation against the eight properties, an order for defendants "to account for and disgorge all of the funds they have converted."

The allegations have not been tested or proven in court and the defendants had not responded to the claim by press time.