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Sondhi faced with 85-year jail term for stock market violations

The Criminal Court on Tuesday found yellow-shirt leader Sondhi Limthongkul guilty for 15 counts of business fraud from 1996 to 1998 and sentenced him to serve 85 years in jail.


Sondhi has applied for Bt10 million bail pending the appellate review.
The case was based on the fraudaulent transactions between two 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 for conspiring to doctor the minutes of Manager Media board meetings in order to authorise him to act as loan guarantor for M Group.
Sondhi had acted without the authorisation and failed to report his liabilities to the stock market.
Even though the four defendants had pleaded guilty and asked for leniency for a suspended sentence, the court found no grounds for communting the punishment.
Under the securities law, the convicts will serve no more than 20 years in jail regardless of the original sentencing.
In regard to the counting of jail time for Sondhi, the court ordered his imprisonment be counted consecutively from three previous convictions for libel.
The first punishment was three-year jail term for defaming former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The second was six-month imprisonment for insulting barred party executive Phumtham Wechayachai. The third was six-month jail term for defaming against Thaksin's legal adviser Noppadon Pattama.
All three cases are under the appellate review.

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