Former education minister Chavarin Latthasaksiri. (File photo)
The Appeal Court has increased former deputy education minister Chavarin Latthasaksiri’s prison sentence from 18 months to two years for misappropriating 11 million baht from a Cambodia-based company three years ago.
A former police lieutenant and Pheu Thai MP, Chavarin was convicted and sentenced to one year and six months in prison by the Criminal Court.
In its judgement read out on Thursday, the Appeal Court upheld the conviction but said the amended Computer Crime Act provided for stiffer penalties, so it increased the jail sentence to two years, media reports said.
Chavarin was liable to three years in jail under the amended law, but the court reduced it to two years because he cooperated.
The judge ordered that Chavarin to return the money to the company.
Chavarin’s family applied for bail pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.
He was arrested by police executing a warrant in January, 2015 as he was about to board a flight to Japan at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Chavarin was accused of misappropriating 11 million baht that was paid into the bank account of the Thai-Chinese Buddhism Culture Association, of which he is chairman.
Bangkok Petrochemical Co intended to transfer the money online to TPI Polene Plc, in payment for cement. Instead, the money ended up in the association’s account.
The payment into the account was recorded on May 7, 2014 and the money was withdrawn two days later, on May 9 .
According to Bangkok Petrochemical, Chavarin said he could not return the money because it had been spent.