Conviction of benefits cheat student prompts warning

Cllr Matthew Barber

Cllr Matthew Barber

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

A STUDENT has been handed a two-year conditional discharge after falsely claiming benefits.

Joyce Kinyera-Aboga, 37, of Ock Bridge Place, Abingdon, pleaded guilty to two charges of benefit fraud after dishonestly failing to declare her student loan and grant.

She appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on July 7, where she admitted claiming more than £2,400 in housing benefit and income support which she was not entitled to.

Kinyera-Aboga dishonestly failed to inform Vale of White Horse District Council after she had become a student in September 2012 and had begun receiving additional income from a student grant and loan.

She continued to claim benefits she was no longer entitled to until 2013.

In January 2013, she falsely told the Jobcentre she had quit her course.

Kinyera-Aboga was caught after checks made by the National Fraud Initiative against her undeclared student loan.

Magistrates sentenced Kinyera-Aboga to a two-year conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £300 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge. She had already paid back all the money that had been wrongly claimed.

Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Many students may be under the impression that a loan or grant will not affect their entitlement to benefits.This is not the case.

“Any time a person’s income changes they must declare it if they are claiming benefits and we will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who fails to make a true declaration of their income.”

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