Prison sentence for swindling DUO
A 33-year-old man defrauded DUO (the education executive agency) of about 250,000 euros. The judge sentenced him to 20 months’ imprisonment and 240 hours’ community service. His three co-defendants were sentenced to community service. The main offender was given a high sentence because it was not his first conviction for a financial crime.
The man applied for student grants in the names of people who were not going to study at all. He used their digital ID details (DigiD) to do so. In the ruling, the course of events remained unclear, but these people ( cat-catchers) were in a ‘socially weak position’, according to the judge.
“The cat-catchers were left with a considerable debt”, the verdict states. “Although it is very unwise to entrust personal data to another person, this does not detract from the seriousness of the facts committed by the accused.”
Seven ‘applicants’ supposedly went to study at the University of the Dutch Caribbean. They did not have the necessary prior education for this. Another studied at the private Capabel Hogeschool, according to a forged declaration.
The convicted man is said to have studied applied psychology. He is a gambling addict and has no permanent place of residence. With the money he gambled online, but also bought two expensive puppies. His ex-partner is one of the co-accused. DUO cannot yet say what will happen to the debts of the cat-catchers. (HOP, BB)