Sondhi gets 85 years over business fraud

February 29, 2012

The Criminal Court yesterday sentenced yellow-shirt leader Sondhi Limthongkul to 85 years in jail after finding him guilty on 15 counts of business fraud from 1996 to 1998.

Sondhi has applied for Bt10-million bail pending an appellate review.

The case was based on fraudulent transactions conducted between listed companies Manager Media Group and M Group in order to secure six loans worth Bt1 billion from Krung Thai Bank.

The prosecution charged Sondhi and three defendants of conspiring to doctor the minutes of Manager Media’s board meetings and giving Sondhi the authority to act as a loan guarantor for M Group.

Sondhi had acted without the board’s authorisation and failed to report his liabilities to the stock market.

Even though the four defendants had pleaded guilty and asked for a lenient sentence, the court found no grounds for commuting the punishment.

Under the securities law, convicts can serve no more than 20 years in jail regardless of the original sentencing.

As for Sondhi’s sentence, the court has ordered that his term include his three previous convictions for libel.

His first sentence was three years in jail for defaming former PM Thaksin Shinawatra; then he was sentenced to six months imprisonment for insulting barred party executive Phumtham Wechayachai; and the third was six months in jail for defaming Thaksin’s legal adviser Noppadon Pattama.

All three cases are under appellate review.

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