Lawyer accused of cheating girl out of B3.5m compensation arrested

Lawyer Pisit Sammalert and Pattarawadi Sawasdi, his alleged accomplice, have been arrested under court warrants for allegedly cheating a female student, an accident victim, and her mother out of 3.5 million baht, Metropolitan Police chief Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathaworn said on Monday.

The two suspects were arrested in Ram Intra area late last night. Mr Pisit acted as the lawyer for the accident victims.

The accident took place in 2005 when a trailer truck hit a pick-up truck in Surat Thani.  Pattarada “Nong Beam” Kaewpong, now a 14-year-old disabled student, sustained a serious spinal injury from the crash while her father was killed.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit said Mr Pisit had initially confessed to have received 4 million baht from an insurance company.  The money was a compensation for the accident victims.  After deducting 500,000 baht for the lawyer fee, he did not give the rest of the money to the family of the victims, but to his wife Pornpawee Chukaew, saying they had a financial problem.

Mr Pisit was charged with falsifying documents and using the documents to cheat his clients.  Ms Pornpawee, his wife, and Ms Pattarawadi were charged with being accomplices.

Pornthip Chantharat, Pattarada’s mother, said she was glad the police had arrested the suspects.  However, she still worried how her family would reclaim the compensation.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit said he would coordinate with the Anti-Money Laundering Office to check the financial transactions of the suspects and find out whether any of their assets could be seized to compensate the damaged party.