A Thai conman has been sentenced to over 13,000 years in prison after admitting to running a £120m Ponzi scheme.

Pudit Kittithradilok, 34, had tricked thousands of victims into paying into his bogus scheme, which promised artificially high financial returns. As with other Ponzi schemes, those who signed up were encouraged to bring new members on board to supposedly boost their earnings.

In all, some 40,000 people was lured into the scheme, pouring over £120m into his two companies.

The court found Kittithradilok guilty of 2,653 counts of fraud and fined his two firms the equivalent of £14.8m each.

He and his firms were ordered to repay £12.6m to the 2,653 victims, plus a yearly interest rate of 7.5%.

Kittithradilok had been held in Bangkok Remand Prison since his arrest in August and was denied bail. Because he pleaded guilty his sentence was halved to 6,637 years and six months in prison.

However, according to the Bangkok Post, he is unlikely to serve more than 20 years since local laws impose a limit for each type of offence; in this case, he will likely serve 10 years for each of the two crimes he committed.