Vietnamese man gets 4 years in jail for insurance scam

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A court in the southern province of Tra Vinh on Tuesday sentenced a man to four years in jail for running an operation that sought out pregnant women in order to claim postnatal insurance on their behalf.

Doan Van Cuong, 29, was found guilty of misappropriating more than VND210 million (US$10,070) in insurance payments from social insurers in Tra Vinh and other Mekong Delta provinces of Vinh Long, Kien Giang and An Giang.

He used insider's knowledge from working at the delta's Can Tho City Social Insurance Department between 2006 and 2009 to carry out the operation, which was disguised as the Online Communication Company with offices across the delta.

Cuong contacted local pregnant women and asked to use their personal information to make them look like his employees, paying them VND4 million (US$193) each for co-operation with him.

Five women who did so said they did not lose anything by cooperating with Cuong, and were actually paid for it.

Vietnamese law allows women to receive four months' salary as a postnatal assistance from social insurance agencies as long as they have fully paid up social and health insurance premiums and contributed to unemployment funds for at least six months prior to giving birth.

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The Vinh Long Social Insurance department launched investigations after noticing that all five women had their insurance paid for exactly six months, the minimum payment required by the law.

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