Author Topic: Couple wanted for alleged B100m ponzi scheme  (Read 2598 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Couple wanted for alleged B100m ponzi scheme
« on: October 29, 2019, 08:32:56 PM »


Wantanee "Mae Mani" Thipprawet, 28, left, and Methee Chinnapha, 20, are wanted for an alleged ponzi scheme, with about 120 investors claiming they were conned out of around 100 million baht. (Photo supplied)

The Criminal Court on Tuesday approved warrants for the arrest of a couple accused of operating a pyramid scheme offering returns of up to 93% a month, with about 120 people alleging they were defrauded out of about 100 million baht.

Pol Col Padol Jandon, a superintendent of the Economic Crime Suppression Division, said the warrants were for the arrest of Wantanee Thipprawet, aka Mae Mani, 28, and her 20-year-old boyfriend Methee Chinnapha.

They face charges of public fraud, public fraud-related borrowing and putting false information into computer systems.

Pol Col Padol said about 120 people had filed complaints with the division. Officers had already questioned about 20 of them, who alleged they were conned out of 35 million baht in total.

"They transferred money to the bank accounts of both suspects," he said

Police were hunting for the wanted couple. The case was being handled as urgent because a lot of people in many areas suffered great damage, he said.

About 200 people filed their complaints at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Monday. About 60 victims from Nakhon Ratchasima province arrived at the department on Tuesday and  lodged their grievances. One victim said she lost 21 million baht to the scheme.

On Monday Piyasiri Watanawarangkun, DSI director for informal financial crime, said pyramid scheme operators commonly lured victims by promising around 15% monthly returns. He was shocked to learn the Mae Mani scheme offered returns as high as 93%.

Victims invested at various levels, but all said the scheme began in March. Members were initially happy,  with well-paid returns - until payments stopped this month.

The DSI learned that Ms Wantanee was a native of Udon Thani province and had earlier sold dolls online. She promoted her scheme via social media. Plaintiffs said she arranged for meetings with people willing to make large investments while promoting her scheme.

Bangkok Post

...offering returns of up to 93% a month...

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Couple wanted for alleged B100m ponzi scheme
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2019, 10:20:11 AM »
Fake Showbiz Socialite ‘Mae Manee’ Wanted for Massive Scam

BANGKOK — Police are on the hunt for a woman suspected to be at the head of a large-scale ponzi scheme that allegedly scammed hundreds of people out of billions of baht.

Police Maj. Gen. Maitree Chimched of the Economic Crime Suppression police said Tuesday that court has issued an arrest warrant for Wantanee “Mae Manee” Tippaveth, 28, and her boyfriend, Metee Chinpa, 20, whom police suspected to have caused up to 10 billion baht in damages.

“Just from interrogating 20 people, the damage is around 35 million baht,” Police Col. Padol Jandorn said.

Wantanee and Metee were charged with fraud-related crimes and breaking the Computer Crime Act, after more than 120 people complained to the Udon Thani police Monday that they were defrauded by Wantanee’s ponzi scheme. Most of Wantanee’s victims are stay-at-home wives looking for extra income.

Wantanee is a Udon Thani and Bangkok-based internet idol who allegedly solicited people to invest money in her business and get a 93 percent profit. To shore up her credibility, she would post photos of her glamorous lifestyle on social media, such as photos of her rubbing elbows with celebrities, and claim to be a producer on many TV shows.

Similar to the Airplane Game pyramid scheme popular in the 1980s America, Wantanee would ask people to pool in money and reap returns after she or her downline found enough people to invest in the game.

Most would start off with a 1,000 baht “investment,” which she claimed would go to her cosmetics and film business endeavors. By the next month, they were told, they would get 1,930 baht in return.

Police said some victims deposited as much as millions of baht in such “investment,” but Wantanee never paid back their yields, citing reasons like bank transfer delays. One person allegedly lost 6 million baht to her, and others have told the media that some victims were so distraught from monetary loss they committed suicide.

Before Wantanee shut down her Facebook Tuesday, victims and netizens were brigading her page against her downline and investors who still believed they would get their money back.

She maintained that she was innocent in posts on Facebook Tuesday: “Jail is for people who aren’t fighters, and I’m a fighter … I never abandoned everyone, and I’m not how the news says I am. I’m the victim of slander, attacks, and silencing threats here. … I’ve never done wrong by anyone. My lawyers will keep working.

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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Couple wanted for alleged B100m ponzi scheme
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 02:40:48 PM »
Police Arrest Mae Manee’s Mom As Scam Balloons to Billions in Damages

UDON THANI — Police on Thursday arrested the mother of an alleged ponzi scheme ringleader accused of scamming at least 4,000 people out of almost 1.4 billion baht in damages.

Police arrested Thawalrat Tippaveth, 47, on Thursday morning in Udon Thani. Investigators said she assisted her 28-year-old daughter Wantanee Tippaveth, aka  “Mae Manee” or “Dear,” in the massive scam – an allegation she denied. Wantanee and her husband Metee “Boss” Chinpa, 20, were arrested on Saturday on fraud and cybercrime charges

“I didn’t have anything to do with it,” Thawalrat said. “I was suspicious as to why she had so much money, but she never told me.”

Thawalrat then fainted While Police Maj. Gen. Nantachart Suppamongkol read the court warrant to her. She was sent to Udon Thani Hospital.

The Department of Special Investigation said that as of Wednesday evening, a more than 4,000 people lost over 1.3 billion baht in Mae Manee’s scheme.

Wantanee’s assets have been frozen, and police said they have been combing her financial records for people involved in the scam, such as recruiters in her downline.

Three other people were also arrested on allegations of assisting Mae Manee in the crimes.


 



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