A former overseas nursing student at Thames Valley and Surrey universities has been jailed for defrauding the NHS of over £18,000.
Memory Chamboko, 35, of College Town, Owlsmoor, Hampshire, was sentenced to six months in prison this week by Reading Crown Court.
She entered the UK in 2002 on a student visa but stayed on after it ran out, and had a subsequent asylum application refused.
A joint police and NHS Counter Fraud Service investigation found she had defrauded the NHS of £18,699.93 from two student bursaries. She pleaded guilty to seven offences, involving deception and false documentation.
Ms Chamboko started an adult nursing diploma at the University of Surrey in September 2006 and applied for a bursary. She supported her applications with a false Home Office letter stating she had indefinite leave to remain in the UK, which was a condition of acceptance for both the course and bursary.
She received bursary payments of £3,952.81 to cover September 2006 to March 2007 but, following an unsatisfactory Criminal Records Bureau check, she withdrew from the course in March 2007.
Ms Chamboko then fraudulently obtained a place on an adult nursing course at Thames Valley University, which she attended from March 2008 until her arrest two weeks ago on 15 April. For this application she used the name Rutendo Memory Chamboko, giving a different date of birth from that given to Surrey University. As a result she received additional NHS Student Bursary payments of £14,747.12.