Mama Manee! Thai woman accused of bilking untold billions in massive scheme

The accused’s Facebook profile before it became inaccessible. Photo: Wanthanee Tippaveth / Facebook
The accused’s Facebook profile before it became inaccessible. Photo: Wanthanee Tippaveth / Facebook

More than 200 people across Thailand filed police complaints this week accusing a woman who’s become known across the Thainet as Mama Manee of scamming them of untold billions.

New accusers were emerging today to file complaints against self-proclaimed net idol Wanthanee “Dear” Tippaveth for allegedly bilking them in a “share” confidence scheme that the DSI says it is now investigating.

DSI agents are collecting evidence to support obtaining a warrant for Wanthanee to bring her in for questioning next week, the DSI’s Piyasiri Watthanawarangkun told PPTV, and nine possible criminal charges.

Update: Thousands more accuse Thailand’s ‘Mama Manee’ of hustling them

Wanthanee’s accusers say they were invited by friends to join her online “share” club on with the promise that would see returns of up to 93% on their investment. 

The scam they allege she operated was presented as a traditional system in which people contribute equal amounts into a pool that rotates payouts to one member at a time. It’s a thing people do around the world – Thais call it share.

One of Wanthanee “Dear” Tippaveth's ads for her 'share' club.
One of Wanthanee “Dear” Tippaveth’s ads for her “share” club.

The DSI is also investigating other participants who invited new members. That’s where the alleged scam takes on a pyramid shape, as plenty of people claimed to have made money from it.

Officials are currently trying to determine if they were in on it or scammed as well. At least 200 people have reported losing billions of baht, Piyasiri said.

“I know her from Facebook, because Wanthanee used to sell children’s clothes, so us mothers would know her,” an anonymous accuser told reporters during a broadcast interview. “So we invited each other to try her sharing club because people say it truly yields rewards.”

The woman went out to say that she didn’t and others never contacted Wanthanee directly but rather were given instructions by her during Facebook live sessions.

“We weren’t allowed to contact her in anyway,” she said.

Wanthanee also displayed her wealth online and made additional claims about being a filmmaker to bolster her profile and win trust, they allege.

“I thought I was going to quit at the end of this month but lighting struck me before then,” another anonymous victim said.

Many of her accusers told reporters that the sharing club did yield the profits Wanthanee promised but only for a couple of weeks before the money stopped coming and Mama Manee stopped responding to messages.

Wanthanee’s whereabouts are unknown. Rumors have her either still in Thailand or having fled the country already. 

Other rumors had her posting a cryptic Facebook status last night from her original page, which longer seems accessible, hinting that she is innocent. 

“Soon, I will do a press conference on every TV channel. … Give me a chance to speak. I’m not thinking of going anywhere so don’t stir up drama and pressure me,” she wrote, according to purported screenshots of the message. Its authenticity cannot be verified.

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CITY: BANGKOKCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: CRIME, VIRAL

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