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Graduate jailed for £38K NHS fraud

An NHS nurse who fraudulently obtained NHS-funded training and bursaries, and private sector employment, has been imprisoned for a total of 21 months after being investigated by NHS Protect.

Registered nurse Gilbertha Mutyoza, 47, of Andrewsfield, Welwyn Garden City, was anonymously reported to the NHS Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line soon after graduating from an NHS commissioned and funded three year nursing diploma course at the University of Hertfordshire.

Mutyoza defrauded £38,931.50 in total. Her course fees cost the NHS (East of England Strategic Health Authority) £18,181.50 and her NHS Student Bursary £20,750.00.

Evidence proving that Mutyoza had used false Home Office documents including false visas to access her bursary was found during the investigation. She applied to the University using a false Statutory Declaration, made before a solicitor, that she had indefinite leave to remain in the UK when she did not, and knew it.

She applied for a NHS student bursary by providing forged copies of a genuinely issued UK visa, indicating that she had indefinite leave to remain in the UK. She also supplied NHS student bursaries with a false UK National Insurance number.

Mutyoza elected for trial by jury. On 14 June at Luton Crown Court she pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to disclose information (to the East of England Strategic Health Authority, and to NHS Student Bursaries) that as of May/April 2008 she had became aware that the immigration documents in her passport were forgeries. On 17 June 2011 the jury unanimously found her guilty on all five remaining counts.

NHS Protect's National Investigation Service Anti-Fraud Lead, Mick Hayes, said: "NHS Protect will check up on any suspicions of fraud against the NHS. Wherever appropriate it will mount an investigation, press for a prosecution and push for the strongest sanctions. A genuine applicant may have lost out as a result of this course place and bursary being taken up illegally."

The work Mutyoza obtained fraudulently included being a residential adult care worker for Jubilee House Care Trust.

Mutyoza entered the country in December 1999 on a sixth month visitor visa, and was refused an extension. Authorities lost track of her between 2000 and 2008, when she reappeared seeking asylum, saying she had returned home and then re-entered the UK via South Africa. After being refused asylum she appealed, and it was eventually granted.

Mutyoza has always maintained that she genuinely thought she had legitimately purchased her illegal documents from a UK Borders Agency official, a man she only knew as Steve. She paid him up to £1,500 for the service on more than one occasion, meeting in a supermarket carpark in Luton.

NHS Protect

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Nursing is a unique profession. Openness, honesty, integrity, trust are some of the good qualities of being a nurse. So what this person did is about discrediting herself but not the profession because not all nurses are deceptive" - T Bangura, London

"Sorry, Pat Bird, the first basic quality a nurse should have is
compassion, empathy and human kindness. Without these qualities what is the point of honesty? With true compassion and altruism, honesty would follow. Honesty is the first quality needed of a politician. Well, we've fallen there already then!" - B Lucas, Wiltshire

"It is great to hear that the NHS is at last acting responsibly to stamp out all breaches potential and real, be it in relation to drugs training or other health claims for services not provided. Let this be a lesson to others who perhaps are thinking upon the same lines believing that the system can be manipulated in their favour with ease. I do hope her leave to remain will be revoked and she be deported at the end of her sentence. It
is such a pity that she will continue to be kept at ratepayers expense throughout her sentence and if not deported will continue to be kept at the expense of honest ratepayers" - V Henry, London

"It would be interesting to have a breakdown of % of committed crime against ethnic group. Why is it always nurses committing these crimes: murder, theft etc!" - Name and address supplied

"I am a nurse and I believe the most basic quality a nurse should have is honesty. I rest my case" - Pat Bird, Essex

"This woman is not violent or a threat to society, she should not be incarcerated. Why couldn't she be deported with her nursing qualification intact, so that she can nurse back home in Africa where qualified nurses are in short supply? That way something good will come of this instead of keeping this unfortunate and desperate woman at more taxpayers expense in a British prison! Before condemning this woman (who was reported 'anonymously'), maybe walk a mile in her shoes.  Desperate people will often go to any lengths to improve their sometimes wretched lives" - Name and address supplied

"Paul Ekwuruke what has she done to make you feel ashamed? Have we read the same article? She intended to work and had been doing so ... better than the swindling MPs and of course the ones who decide on a life of benefits ... yes it was wrong to defraud the NHS ... 38k is peanuts compared to the billions wasted on so-called 'IT' - Karis, Surrey

"I think this says far more about our terrible immigration policy and lacksidasical attitude towards our leaking borders than it says about the apparent dishonesty of a desperate illegal immigrant who wanted to train and work. I think it is far worse to bring human cargo to the country to work as prostitutes and slaves which cause human misery and death; and the amount of so-called foreign students who overstay and are lost forever in the system, remaining a burden for the tax payer. There is no mention that Mutyoza was a good employee and carred out her duties properly as a good and dedicated nurse; moreover no mention that the training was successful and that she intended to stay and work in the NHS in vital care work! I have been a wrongly accused victim of the so-called 'NHS Protect' fraud squad, who increased my desolation and misery very soon after losing 4 members of my close family in tragic circumstances (unrelated to NHS). Although it never went anywhere near a court, and they had so obviously made a mistake; I never, ever had a letter confirming my innocence outlining that the case was dropped let alone that they were wrong! Despite the support of my manager, colleagues and the HR department, the so-called NHS protect never showed any compassion or regret that they made a mistake" - Name and address supplied

"It is better to always say the truth no matter how hard the situation might be. I hope everybody will learn a lesson from this case" - Florence Faturoti, London

"Well done NHS Protect! I am a nurse myself and feel ashamed when some elements tarnish the name and image of the profession. It is positive that such are exposed and made to pay for their offence. Hopefully that will make others think" - Paul Ekwuruke, London