BANGKOK, Thailand -- A court in Thailand has handed down a total of 13,275 years of imprisonment on a man for cheating more than 2,500 people, involving 570 million Baht (about RM73 million), through a bogus investment scheme.

However, under the law, the 34 year-old man will only serve a maximum of 20 years in actual prison time.

According to a report in a local media yesterday, the man, Phudit Kittitradilok, was found guilty of public fraud and money laundering in connection with an investment scheme which he masterminded from August 2015 until September 2016.

Despite the long prison term imposed by Thailand's Criminal Court on the man, it was still a long way from nearing the 1989 record when another court sentenced a former Petroleum Authority of Thailand's employee, Chamoy Thipyaso, to a total of 141,078 years in prison.

Thipyaso was convicted of corporate fraud.

Kittitradilok was detained by the police in August this year, following an arrest warrant issued by the court.

The court sentenced him to five years for each of the 2,653 counts of public fraud and another ten years for money laundering, bringing the total jail terms handed to the man to 13,275 years.

Initially, Kittitradilok denied all the allegations during police investigations, but pleaded guilty during arrangement, which the court took into consideration and reduced his jail sentence by half to 6,637 years and six months.

Meanwhile, the chairman for anti-pyramid investment scheme association, Samart Jenchaijitwanich said about 40,000 people were cheated into investing in the scam, involving about 5.3 billion Baht (about RM670 million).

He called on the authorities to amend the law on public fraud to provide for a heavier penalty.