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Accused Ponzi queen and husband in jail, no bail

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Udon Thani Police

Alleged Ponzi-scam scammer Wantanee “Mae Manee” Tippaveth, along with her husband, have been remanded to Udon Thani prison after appearing in court. Police received approval to detain them without bail while the investigation continues into their ‘business’. Additional victims of the scheme are still mounting up and contacting the DSI.

Both of the alleged scheme creators had little to say when approached by the media outside Udon Thani Court.

The Bangkok Post reports that the couple were arrested in Chon Buri province on Saturday and helicoptered to Udon Thani later the same day. Under Thai law, Police can detain suspects for up to 48 hours without a court order.

There was no application for bail, since the couple’s assets have all been frozen and can’t be used as a guarantee.

The couple allegedly defrauded investors in what has become known as the Mae Manee Ponzi scheme, luring victims with promises of unusually high returns, reportedly up to 93% a month.

The Department of Special Investigation said last Wednesday that victims lost more than 430 million baht, but police have upped the estimate to around 1 billion baht. The number of direct victims has risen to more than 3,400, and counting. The DSI are encouraging people who had been defrauded in the scheme to contact them.

The couple face charges of public fraud, fraud-related borrowing and entering false data into a computer system. They have denied all charges.

The “Mae Manee” is one of two major Ponzi schemes currently under investigation by the DSI at the moment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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