Two restaurant owners in Thailand have been sentenced to 723 years in prison after it was found they had defrauded the public with a $3 buffet promotion.

Customers were sold vouchers to a restaurant by the owners, which entitled them to use their buffet for the rock bottom price.

However, 20,000 people ended up purchases the vouchers, which worked out to a value of $2.3 million.

Initially, customers were able to claim their meals before a long waiting list meant customers would have wait for months for their space.

However, prosecutors found that the offer could not be fulfilled and the restaurant owners knew it.

“It was impossible to sell such high-quality food as advertised,” they argued in court, adding that the defendants “didn’t have (the) intention to fulfil the conditions as advertised to the public”.

In March, the restaurant announced it was closing as it could not get ahold of the seafood, which sparked complaints that from stranded customers that they had been defrauded.

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The pair were arrested and found guilty of 723 counts of fraud on Wednesday, with each sentenced to 1446 years in prison, which was halved for pleading guilty.

The pair were also fined $84,761 and told to repay $117,712 in refunds.

Thai law limits jail time for fraud to 20 years, so it’s likely they will be released.

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