Law student from Ilford fraudulently claimed thousands in benefits
08:00 08 August 2014
A law student from Ilford who fraudulently claimed thousands of pounds in benefits has been ordered to do unpaid work.
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.