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Woman tried for scholarship scam

Chin Kimheng (centre) covers her face as she is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being tried on fraud charges.
Chin Kimheng (centre) covers her face as she is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday after being tried on fraud charges. Hong Menea

Woman tried for scholarship scam

A Takeo province silk weaver was tried at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday over allegations that she conned a businesswoman out of nearly $5,000 on the promise that her daughter would receive a university scholarship and entry into a study-abroad program.

Judge Theam Chanpiseth said 32-year-old Chin Kimheng, from Samrong district, was charged with fraud. If found guilty, she could face up to five years behind bars.

Kimheng is accused of taking $4,950 from local businesswoman Huoth Vanny in January 2014, after promising that the cash would secure her daughter a scholarship at Phnom Penh’s Pannasastra University, and a further scholarship on a study-abroad program.

But after studying for six months at the university, Vanny’s daughter learned that she didn’t have a scholarship at the university and was asked to leave.

Vanny’s lawyer, Cheat Sokha, told the court that multiple attempts by his client to contact Kimheng over the following year were ignored.

“My client has no choice to get the money back from her other than suing her in the court,” she said.

Kimheng yesterday admitted to taking the money but said she had passed it on to a man called “Mr Lay” who worked as an education officer at the university.

“For this work, I received only $200 commission”, she added.

University representatives couldn’t be reached.

A verdict will be handed down on Tuesday.

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