BANGKOK (AFP) - The wife of deposed Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion Thursday, the first conviction against his family since he was toppled in a 2006 coup. Pojaman Shinawatra and her brother were given three years in prison, while her secretary received a two-year sentence. "The actions by the three defendants are serious violations of the law. The court has decided that the three defendants were guilty of tax fraud," Judge Pramote Pipatpramote said. All three were released on bail of five million baht each ($150,000) pending appeal. The family's spokesman immediately announced an appeal against the verdict. "We will appeal within 30 days... We will wait for the decision from the highest court. We respect the decision of the highest court," Phongthep Thepkanjana told AFP. Pojaman, 51, and the two other defendants were convicted of colluding to evade tax worth 546 million baht in a 1997 transfer of shares in the family's Shinawatra Computer and Communication company, which later became Thailand's telecom giant Shin Corp. The defendants denied the charges, insisting the shares were a gift so would be tax-free.