They were convicted of falsifying documents used as collateral for a B1.08-billion loan from Krung Thai Bank, and failing to seek approval for the loan from the company board.
Named in the lawsuit filed by the prosecution in October 2000 in the Criminal Court on behalf of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were Sondhi and three former Manager directors – Suradet Mukyangkoon and two women, Saowalak Thiranujanyong and Yupin Chantana.
The loan was arranged for The M Group, a private company controlled by Sondhi and a major shareholder in the listed Manager Media Group. 3
The Manager Media Group was listed as a guarantor for the loan with Sondhi, Saowalak, Yupin and Suradet signing the guarantee document.
The SEC said the board of the Manager Media Group was unaware of the transaction, which was also not disclosed in the listed company’s financial statements.
The M Group later defaulted on the loan, resulting in Manager becoming liable for repayment and incurring damages totalling B259mn.
The four also falsified documents to mislead Krung Thai Bank into believing the guarantee by Manager was properly authorised by the company board, and later colluded to prevent disclosure of the guarantee by the company to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The Criminal Court, on Sept 17, 2012, found them guilty and sentenced Sondhi and Saowalak to a total of 85 years in prison, Yupin to 65 years in jail and Suradet to five years.
Due to their confessions, the jail terms were halved to 42 years for Sondhi and Saowalak, 32 years and six months for Yupin, and two years and six months for Suradet.
Since the law limits prison terms to 20 years, the court ordered Sondhi, Saowalak and Yupin to each serve 20 years in jail. The three appealed.
Sudaret chose to serve the two years and six months.
On Aug 7, 2014, the Appeals Court upheld the Criminal Court’s 20-year jail sentence on Sondhi, Saowalak and Yupin. They again appealed.
Today the Supreme Court upheld the 20-year prison sentences for all three.
Sondhi was taken from the court to Bangkok Remand Prison and Saowalak and Yupin to the Central Women’s Correctional Institute.
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