05/21/2015 06:10 EDT | Updated 05/22/2015 12:59 EDT

Dismembered West Vancouver Millionaire Was Killed For His Money: Lawyer

Gang Yuan's body was found in his $5-million West Vancouver home.


A West Vancouver businessman was allegedly killed and cut up into more than 100 pieces because of his wealth, said a lawyer for the man's family.

Gang Yuan, 42, was found dead in his posh British Properties home on King Georges Way after police received a report of a violent confrontation on May 2.

Yuan shared the $5-million home with his cousin, her husband, and the couple's daughter, reported CTV News.

Li Zhao, 54, has been charged with second-degree murder and interference with a dead body. Zhao is married to Yuan's cousin.

Chris Johnson, a lawyer for the victim's family, said Yuan was a "successful and generous" businessman who supported his struggling cousin, Xiao Mei Li, and her husband, according to The National Post.

"With the known facts, there is really only one conclusion: Mr. Zhao did this for financial reasons," Johnson said at a news conference on Wednesday. "There is significant evidence that Li Zhao was heavily indebted to Mr. Yuan, to the tune of over $2 million."

Johnson claimed that days after Yuan's death, the cousin was seen driving the victim's Bentley, reported CBC News. He said the accused killer's daughter appeared in a reality show called "Ultra Rich Asian Girls" and pretended to own Yuan's luxury car and other property.

UPDATE - May 22, 2015: In a letter to CBC News, Brent B. Olthuis, Zhao's lawyer, said his clients deny the "scandalous speculation and outrageous allegations."

Yuan's brother was appointed an administrator of the estate, reported The Province. He has filed a petition to stop the accused and his wife from getting their hands on the victim's assets, said the newspaper.

For tax reasons, the couple were registered as the home's owners, even though it actually belonged to Yuan, said Johnson.

Yuan, who moved to Canada in 2007, built his wealth through Saskatchewan real estate and agriculture, reported CBC.

With files from the Canadian Press

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