Ponzi scheme operator given 13,275 years’ jailterm by Criminal Court

The Criminal Court on Friday (Dec 29) handed down 13,275 years’ imprisonment on a con man who operated a Ponzi scheme operation which had lured about 40,000 people to invest about 5.3 billion baht to buy his companies’ seminar packages in return for unusually high returns and dividends.

But as a benefit of the confession of the convict, Pudit Kittithradilok, 34, managing director of The System Plug & Play Company and Innovation Holding Company, the court commuted the sentence by half to 6,637 years and six months.

However, since the law specifies that, for an offence which is liable to a maximum jailterm of 10 years, the accumulated jailterm for all the 2,653 counts of offence that Pudit was found guilty should not exceed 20 years.

The convict was also ordered by the court to repay his clients 574 million baht for their investments whereas his two firms were also fined 663 million baht each.

Pudit and his two companies were accused of operating a Ponzi-scheme business by offering seminar packages on beauty, real estate, money exchange, export and second-hand car businesses to anyone who were interested to join the scheme.

The investors were promised one percent dividend of their investments on daily basis for a duration of 52 weeks.  On top of that, they were promised 5 percent returns of their investment monies if they managed to recruit new investors for the companies.

However, Pudit later escaped with about 3.5 billion baht of the investment monies of his clients and folded up the business.  A total of 2,653 customers out of about 40,000 lodged complaints with the Department of Special Investigation.

He was eventually arrested on charges of public fraud and violations of the lending law.