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Law student from Ilford fraudulently claimed thousands in benefits

He was charged with two counts of sexual touching He was charged with two counts of sexual touching

Friday, August 8, 2014
8:00 AM

A law student from Ilford who fraudulently claimed thousands of pounds in benefits has been ordered to do unpaid work.

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Chapy Empochon-Tsif, of High Road, Ilford, appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court yesterday after pleading guilty to failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances.

The 23-year-old, who is studying for a law degree at the University of East London, continued to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit despite being in full-time education.

The court heard the young mother started her course in September 2012 and began receiving a maintenance loan, affecting her entitlement to the benefits which she had legally been claiming since 2010.

Between September 17, 2012, and 11 April, 2013, she racked up £1,607.14 in JSA and £2,098.57 in housing benefit.

Mitigating, Ramdhary Kaushik told the court Empochon-Tsif had initially denied the charge as she feared a conviction would affect her future law career, but before the start of the trial changed her plea to guilty.

Sentencing her, district judge Alexander Jacobs said: “People who steal from taxpayers can find themselves receiving custodial sentences.”

Empochon-Tsif was ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order, pay a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £100.

The court heard the benefits had since been recovered.

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