Court upholds prison term for Supachai

Court upholds prison term for Supachai

Supachai: Taken from jail for ruling
Supachai: Taken from jail for ruling

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld an Appeal Court ruling that Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, a former chairman of the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC), be sentenced to seven years in prison, in a lawsuit stemming from a 12-billion-baht embezzlement scandal.

Supachai was transported from Bangkok Remand Prison to hear the ruling in court.

In 2016, the lower court sentenced Mr Supachai to 32 years in jail for violating Criminal Code Sections 352, 353 and 354. He was found guilty of embezzling a total of 22.1 million baht in eight transactions made between April 10 and Oct 8, 2013.

Supachai had several accountants withdraw the money from KCUC's accounts and then transfer it to either his own bank accounts or those of third parties connected with him, the court said in its ruling.

His prison term was halved after he confessed. He then took the case to the Appeal Court, which found him guilty of violating only two criminal codes and commuted his sentence to seven years.

The KCUC scandal made headlines after Supachai confessed to embezzling money from 50,000 members of the cooperative between 2009 and 2013.

He was accused of siphoning off a total of 12 billion baht and transferring 932 million baht to Wat Phra Dhammakaya and its abbot Phra Dhammajayo, who allegedly used the money to finance temple construction.

Supachai is also suspected of using some of the money to buy eight plots of land in Pathum Thani's Klong Luang district, near Wat Phra Dhammakaya, before reselling them for 298 million baht to a property billionaire who is also a Dhammakaya follower. Supachai did not return any of that revenue to the KCUC, according to the investigation.

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