The Criminal Court this morning jailed Sorayuth Suthassanachinda, the 49-year-old star anchor, after it found him guilty of fraud.
Sorayuth and his financial officer Montha Theeradat were both sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison, commuted from 20 years due to their testimony, for cheating state-owned channel MCOT of over THB138 million in advertising revenue between 2005 and 2006.
The anchor’s Rai Som Company was also ordered to pay a THB80,000 fine.
Meanwhile, Pichapa Iamsa-sard, an MCOT employee, was found guilty of corruption. Her punishment was commuted from 30 years to 20 years due to her testimony:
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), who filed the lawsuit, said Sorayuth’s Rai Som Company was supposed to allocate advertising slots of between two and five minutes during his successful news program “Kui Khui Khao,” which was broadcasted on MCOT.
If its adverts exceeded the time slots, the company had to pay MCOT Plc a rate of at least THB200,000 per minute, but Sorayuth was found guilty of paying Pichapa to help conceal the records of the advertising airtime.
The NACC said Pichapa managed to conceal the extra advertising time of Rai Som from Feb. 4, 2005 – June 30, 2006. This amounted to defrauding the channel of THB138.79 million.
No suspension of jail terms were given to the three as they are seeking bail and will appeal the rulings, Thai PBS reported.