Twenty-two executives and officials of U Fund pyramid scheme were sentenced to jailterms ranging from 20 to 50 years after they were convicted with a string of charges ranging from public fraud, violations against Computer Crime Act and Transnational Crime Act.
Twenty-one other defendants were acquitted, including former Chart Thai Pattana Sirichoke Siriwattana.
94 people implicated in operating the Ponzi scheme have been arrested and the first group of 44 of them were indicated in the court while the case of the remaining is still pending investigation. Altogether 164 arrest warrants were issued.
Altogether 2,451 people who were duped into investing in the U Fund pyramid scheme were cheated.
Originally the Criminal Court imposed sentences of over 12,000 years to the convicts based on the counts of offences they committed. But since the law sets the maximum jailterm at 50 years, the actual jailterms handed down on the 22 convicts range from 20 to 50 years.
Pol Gen Suvira Songmetta, an advisor to the Royal Thai Police Office, who is in charge of the case said that victims would be refunded from the convicts who do not appeal their conviction. In case of an appeal, they will have to wait until the case is finalized, he added.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)