In April 2019 Turkish media reported that Turkish education agency Oxford House Work and Travel fired three employees when it discovered that they had fraudulently claimed US tax reimbursements for at least 122 students.

Credit is due to PIE News for picking this one up from the Turkish language source media Hurriyet.

The students had spent time in the US on the Summer Work Travel Program. The US State Department’s website explains that the program…

…provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and way of life in the United States.

US State Department website

The three employees reportedly claimed the tax refunds without the students’ knowledge. They later admitted responsibility.

Gönenc Lacin, a lawyer representing Oxford House Work & Travel insists that the agency had no knowledge of what the three wrongdoers were up to, and sacked them as soon as the fraud was exposed.

Lacin said:

The company has been abused. [The employees] caused a greater financial trouble than what they gained. We’re trying to compensate the students’ unjust treatment.

Lacin explained that the Turkish education agency provided regular updates to the US Consulate, and provided information to support inquiries. Oxford House Work & Travel also offered to reimburse US authorities for any losses.

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Sources: Hurriyet, PIE News

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