The Crusader Newspaper Group

College student accidentally receives $1 million in financial aid, goes on lavish shopping spree before she’s caught

By Minyvonne Burke,

It was a fairytale — at least for a little while.

A college student in South Africa found she could afford a lot more than a few school books when a whopping $1 million was accidentally transferred into her financial aid account.

The enormous error was made in June when accounting student Sibongile Mani noticed that her usual $100 stipend for food and books included a few extra zeros.

According to local media outlets, the 27-year-old Walter Sisulu University student went on lavish shopping sprees with the money.

The Herald Live reports that she started coming to class in designer outfits and threw her friends over-the-top parties. It was her new extravagant lifestyle that ultimately raised suspicion and led to another WSU student alerting school officials.

“She bought an iPhone 7 and clothes for herself and each of her friends,” one student told the outlet. “She suddenly appeared at lectures wearing designer clothes and she pimped up her crew of friends.”

Intellimi, the company responsible for issuing debit cards to financial aid students, admitted to making the error.


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