The Buddha Would Not Approve
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A temple elder who claimed to be "a Buddha descended from heaven" defrauded a follower of $30,000 by claiming it would protect her from a prophesied catastrophe, a woman claims in court.
Christina Hei Man Chiu sued Kei Chun Ko aka "Master Diana," Mission Asset Management, and Lorentz Sui-Cheung Li, in British Columbia Supreme Court.
Chiu claims Master Diana rolled her for $30,000 by claiming the money would provide her a spot in a shelter being built to protect against a disaster foretold by prophecy - which never came to pass.
Chiu claims the individual defendants were "mentors in whom she confided" because they were elders at the Buddhist temple she attended in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond.
"Master Diana held herself out as a Buddha descended from heaven who communicated with other Buddhas," the complaint states.
Chiu claims she attended weekly services at the temple for more than a year and also visited Master Diana at her home.
"In or about June 2011 Master Diana and Li orally represented to the plaintiff that a divine revelation from the Buddha predicted that natural catastrophes in North America would destroy Vancouver and Richmond, starting September 12, 2012," the complaint states.
After warning her of the impending doom, Master Diana and Li allegedly urged Chiu to buy a spot in a shelter for $100,000, assuring her that the shelter would offer safety and protection from the prophecy.
Chiu claims the defendants urged her act quickly because shelter space was filling up and the price would increase.
Chiu says she gave them a check for $30,000 payable to Mission Asset Management.
But - wouldn't you know it? - a few months later the defendants told her "that a further communication from the Buddha had been received and that the prophecy was not going to occur," but Master Diana and Li refused to give her a refund, Chiu claims.
Reached at his home in West Vancouver, Lorentz Li refused to comment and hung up.
Kei Chun Ko's phone number at the address in the complaint was not in service Thursday.
Chiu wants her money back, and punitive damages.
She is represented by Manuel Azeveda with the Pierce Law Group in Vancouver.