They call him “Boss.” And Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the heir to the Red Bull fortune, is certainly happy to play the part. Exorbitant wealth, friends in high places, legal impunity, moral aloofness—Vorayuth has lived like a despotic executive or a Mafia overlord. But where even those kingpins might accept, at one point or another, that the buck must stop with them, the 35-year-old Bangkok playboy—grandson of the energy-drink co-inventor—takes on no such liability.

Instead, if Thailand’s prosecutors are to be believed, he is a buck dodger extraordinaire—a light-footed, label-swaddled sun chaser who will flee exactly as far as his supercharged sports cars will carry him. Which, in the case of one ugly night some eight years ago, wasn’t quite far enough.