Category Archive Crime: Benefit Fraud

ByMichael Morrison

Benefit Fraud of £74,000 = 12 Months Jail

A benefits fraudster has been jailed after fleecing the taxpayer out of nearly £74,000 while running a £2.6million property empire.

Seema Bassi, 49, claimed she was a jobless single mother to pocket handouts for more than a decade.

But she was secretly amassing a property portfolio across Kent raking in a fortune from tenants, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Bassi owned 26 homes worth a total of £2.6million, providing her with about £150,000 in rent a year.

She bought her first property in 1994 and started claiming benefits three years later.

Her portfolio included 14 flats and four houses in Gravesend, a house in Canterbury, three flats in Herne Bay, a two-bedroom terrace in Greenhithe, and a house in Richmond Street, Hartlepool, Cleveland.

Some of the properties were leased to Gravesham Council in Kent as sheltered housing for asylum seekers, the court heard.

Her fraud was uncovered after Gravesham Council started investigating her brother for failing to pay council tax in 2012.

The paper trail led investigators to contact Redbridge Council for more details about Bassi when they learned she had purchased 18 houses from her brother.

Stacks of documents were seized from Bassi’s home in Ilford, including bank statements and tenancy agreements.

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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2723558/Benefits-fraudster-claimed-74-000-handouts-owning-2-6million-property-empire-raked-150-000-rent-year-jailed-12-months.html#ixzz3AIC6ioZO
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ByMichael Morrison

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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