11 Jul 2014

Unpaid work for £20k benefits thief

A costume designer on Disney hit movie Maleficent that starred Angelina Jolie has been convicted of a £20,000 benefit fraud scam.

Helen Beaumont, 37, also worked on alien invasion movie Attack the Block, music videos for Jarvis Cocker and Scouting for Girls and West End productions of Billy Elliot and Singing in the Rain.

Her glittering CV boasts a string of credits for work for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Young Vic as well as the BBC and E4.

But Beaumont, of Highgate, north London, did not disclose her work or savings of more than £16,000 when applying for housing benefit and Jobseeker's Allowance.

A probe by Haringey Council and the Department for Work and Pensions revealed she illegally claimed nearly £20,000 in benefits between May 2009 and November 2012.

Beaumont, who studied for a BA in history of art and design at Camberwell College of Art, was spared jail when she was sentenced at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

After pleading guilty of two charges of fraud by failing to disclose capital, she was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Beaumont illegally claimed £13,482.14 in housing benefit and £6,465.58 in Jobseeker's Allowance. She has already repaid the cash in full.

Councillor Jason Arthur, Haringey's cabinet member for resources and culture, said: 'Beaumont was living a real-life fantasy, scamming thousands of pounds in benefits out of taxpayers while dressing the rich and famous. But she should have known better than anyone that fairytale villains never get away with it.'

Oh ha ha ha, that is so ponderous.

'Whatever your job, abusing the benefits system is an insult to the vast majority of families who play by the rules, and we will not tolerate it.'

Beaumont was also ordered by magistrates to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

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