A Vancouver woman backed out of her agreement to buy a $6.1 million mansion after finding out an alleged Chinese mob leader had been shot to death at its front gate, and on Friday, a judge ruled in her favor in the ensuing court case. The house's previous owner, Mei Zhen Wang, used "fraudulent representation" to sell it, the judge ruled, since would-be buyer Feng Yun Shao was not informed of the murder before paying her $300,000 deposit. Only after the deposit had been paid in 2009 did Shao hear rumors of the mansion's history; she and her husband searched online and found out what had happened, the CBC reports. After Shao pulled out of the sale, Wang sued her for breach of contract, arguing she should be able to keep the deposit and should also be paid $338,000 in damages since the house ultimately sold to someone else for just $5.5 million.
Wang's daughter and son-in-law had lived in the 9,018-square-foot mansion; her son-in-law, Raymond Huang, was an alleged leader of a gang with roots in China and was killed in an apparent targeted hit in 2007. Media reports about his death led to his young daughter being removed from her school, and the family moved so that she could attend a new school. When Shao asked why Wang was selling, though, all she was told was that the family needed to switch schools so the girl could improve her English. "That representation, while true on its face, was incomplete," the judge ruled, noting that Wang was also likely concerned for the safety of any family still living there. "Ms. Shao was entitled to an accurate answer." Shao's lawyer had argued when pulling out of the sale that since Huang's murderer had not been apprehended, anyone living in the home would be at risk. Wang was ordered to return Shao's deposit, plus interest, CTV News reports.