Crime: Benefit Fraud

Crime: Benefit Fraud

A costume designer on the Disney movie Maleficent starring  Angelina Jolie has been convicted of a £20,000 benefit fraud.

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 CV also boasts a string of credits for work for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Young Vic, 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.

An investigation by Haringey  council and the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that  Beaumont, who studied for a BA in art history and design at Camberwell College of Art, illegally claimed nearly £20,000 in benefits between May 2009 and November 2012.

But she escaped jail when she appeared at Highbury  Corner magistrates’ court this week.  After admitting two charges of fraud by failing to disclose capital, she was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

We have solicitors local to this magistrates’ court who have been successfully defending such prosecutions for many years.

Haringey councillor Jason Arthur said afterwards that Beaumont, who has repaid the cash, “was living a real-life fantasy”, but she “should have known  better than anyone that fairytale villains never get away with it”.

This article appeared in the Evening Standard on 11/7/14.

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