A former beauty queen from Hong Kong reportedly used her pageant crown as collateral for a loan, and she now faces a lawsuit over the debt which has remained unpaid.
Miss Hong Kong 1995 Winnie Yeung (Yeung Yuen-yee), along with her husband, Wong Shuai-fun, secured a loan amounting to 2.4 million Hong Kong dollars ($306,000) from Trinity Aim Capital Limited three years ago.
The couple, who then needed funding for their Samoa-registered business Little Einstein Academy, reportedly pledged Young’s crown and a property in the United States as collateral.
Now the money-lending company based in Wan Chai, Hong Kong has filed a civil suit against the pair to compel them to surrender the beauty crown as partial payment for the debt, which has ballooned to 3.76 million HKD ($479,000) including interest.
Based on the writ filed last Friday, the creditor also seeks acquisition of the couple’s house in San Francisco, California.
“Wrongfully … the defendants have failed to deliver the pledged properties to the plaintiff, even after the … a default occurred,” the writ said.
The plaintiff’s lawyers revealed that the couple initially asked for a loan of 2 million HKD ($255,000) through their company in December 2014. Failing to keep up with the installments, the accused repeatedly postponed the dates of repayment.
An additional loan amounting to 400,000 HKD ($51,000) was requested and granted in November 2015. The continued failures to repay prompted the lender to file legal action.
According to the South China Morning Post, Lukfook Jewellery, the official sponsor for the beauty pageant’s crowns, claimed in 2011 that the crown was worth 3.5 million HKD ($446,000). As of 2016, the crown was reportedly worth 4.6 million HKD ($586,000).
The lawsuit from the money lender was the not first time that the couple was put in the spotlight for their financial woes. In March, Steam International Kindergarten, a school in which Young was a director, accused her of transferring fees amounting to 147,000 HKD ($18,800) into her own firm called Marker Spaces Limited.