Two owners of a Thai seafood restaurant who left thousands of people out of pocket with an all-you-can-eat scam have been sentenced to 1,446 years in prison.
However, the judge reportedly reduced the defendants’ combined sentence by 99 percent due to their guilty plea.
The owners of the Laemgate seafood restaurant in the Thai capital Bangkok will both reportedly serve 20 years in prison with a fine of 1.8 million THB (45,890 GBP).
According to local media, the Thai court found Apichat Bancharak and Prapassorn Bawornbancha guilty of false advertising, fraud and computer crimes related to an all-you-can-eat meal scam.
They were reportedly charged with hundreds of offences after more than 2,000 people filed complaints to the Consumer Protection Board.
Due to the large number of complainants, the court sentenced them to a combined total of 1,446 years in prison, according to local media.
Their admission of guilt led to the sentence being reduced by 99 percent.
The defendants’ former restaurant, originally located on Phahonyothin Road before relocating to the Lat Phrao intersection, became well-known through celebrity endorsements and hard-sell marketing campaigns.
However, problems emerged after they started offering all-you-can-eat package deals on its website and social media accounts.
One deal called ‘King of the Sea’ sold for 880 THB (22 GBP) and fed 10 people.
The ‘Hardcore Fans’ deal for 30 diners, priced at 3,000 THB (77 GBP), resulted in over 20,000 clients transferring money to the restaurant to book places.
In March 2019, the restaurant owners announced on social media that they had to cancel all the bookings due to a “lack of ingredients”, leaving over 20,000 diners out of pocket.
In the end, over 2,000 filed a complaint against the restaurant.
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