Daughter drains elderly woman's life savings of $130,000 from their joint accounts

An elderly woman accumulated $180,000 in savings after a lifetime of hard work, only to lose $130,000 to her youngest daughter.

Left with just over $200 in her bank accounts, Mdm Chen has had no choice but to lodge a police report.

The 73-year-old woman told Shin Min Daily News that she had opened three joints accounts with her youngest daughter in May 2021.

She said: "My husband and I worked hard all our lives for these savings. The money was previously in our couple's joint account before being transferred into these three accounts."

On June 26, 2023, Mdm Chen discovered that one of the accounts was left with $180 instead of the $85,000 it was supposed to have.

Feeling something amiss, she checked the other two accounts as well.

She found one account completely emptied of its $19,999 sum, while the other account had gone from having $76,174 to $61.

Mdm Chen said: "I saved about $180,000 and previously withdrew $50,000, so there should be $130,000 remaining. But now, I'm left with only over $200."

After investigating, Mdm Chen realised that all the money had been transferred by her youngest daughter.

She subsequently lodged a police report, but was told that nothing could be done as the money had been in joint accounts.

"The police suggested that I get a lawyer, but that will cost a lot of money," added Mdm Chen, who was unable to recall why she had opened the joint accounts with her daughter.

Mdm Chen also called her daughter.

"She admitted to using my money and said she would pay it back to me slowly, but I don't know how she is going to do that," said Mdm Chen.

Reporters tried to contact Mdm Chen's daughter for two consecutive days, but to no avail. When they got in touch with Mdm Chen's son-in-law, he said: "Don't write nonsense."

Mdm Chen's eldest daughter, 43-year-old Ms Zhuo, said her parents have lost their life savings.

According to Ms Zhuo, her mother worked as a dishwasher for 30 years while her father operated a boat.

She added: "My father was in poor health a few years ago and is currently bedridden. I didn't expect my sister to take their money."

The family's relationship with Mdm Chen's youngest daughter deteriorated following the incident and she has since stopped replying to Mdm Chen's messages.

Mdm Chen believes that her youngest daughter and son-in-law are facing problems with their business, a frozen seafood company which they started in 2021.

She said: "I requested transfer records from the bank and discovered that my youngest daughter has been transferring money to her company's employees, suppliers and even directly to her husband since June 2021.

"In fact, even the registration fee for her marriage this year is my money."

Ms Zhuo said that things have been amiss ever since her youngest sister started dating her now-husband in 2021.

She explained: "His own divorce procedures had yet to be completed when he was with my sister. Afterwards, he did not come to see my parents so we do not know him well and don't have a good impression of him."