29 October 2010

Nursing assistant found guilty of £50,000 fraud after lying about UK immigration status

A care home nursing assistant who defrauded the NHS of almost £50,000 and lied about her UK immigration status has received a 12-month suspended sentence at Colchester Crown Court and now faces deportation.

NHS fraud investigators and the UK Borders Agency discovered Lorraine Nkuni Tshuma, 47, arrived in the UK in 2000 on a six-month visitor’s visa to take a short training course.

When this UK Visa had expired she obtained a false Home Office letter “granting” her indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK, which she then used to gain admission into a three-year nurse training Diploma course at Anglia Ruskin University in October 2004.
 She also received a sponsorship worth £18,238 by the East of England Strategic Health Authority.

Using the same false letter, she successfully applied for a full Diploma level NHS student bursary of £30,972 and dependants’ allowances for her three children, whom she brought to the UK.

Ms Tshuma gained a certificate but did not pass the diploma to become a fully qualified nurse.

She later went on to fraudulently earn £13,100 working in private care homes.

Ms Tashuma has been ordered to serve 220 hours of community service, while a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation application has been opened.

Hilary Cullen, investigating officer, NHS Counter Fraud Service, said: “We hope this sentence acts as a deterrent to others who might defraud the NHS.

“We follow up any suspicion of fraud against the NHS that is reported to us and wherever appropriate will press for prosecution and the strongest sanctions against offenders.”

Tshuma gained a certificate but did not pass the diploma to become a fully qualified nurse.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  UK immigration applications to the British High Commission.

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