‘Christmas Elf’ convicted for claiming over £44,000 in benefit fraud scam

‘Christmas Elf’ convicted for claiming over £44,000 in benefit fraud scam

Despite claiming she couldn't walk more than 20 metres, Simpson embarked on multiple 'festive walks' in fancy dress

GB News
Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 07/02/2024

- 22:55

Benefit fraud's claims of spine disease busted after investigators uncovered two ‘festive walks’

A woman who claimed over £44,000 in benefits for a supposed degenerative disc disease has been convicted for fraud after investigators found that she had taken part in “festive walks” dressed as a “Christmas elf”.

Kelly Simpson claimed benefits after stating that she was unable to use the bath independently and that getting dressed was “impossible” due to the disease in her back.

But investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions found that she had taken on two walks, both over seven miles long, while dressed as an elf.

Simpson took part in the walks despite declaring she could only walk less than 20 metres. In another “festive walk” she dressed as a Christmas pudding.

Outside of the DWP

DWP investigators found she had taken on multiple seven-plus-mile walks dressed as an elf


The fraudster was convicted last month of stealing £44,813 in taxpayers’ money.

Simpson pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming disability benefits at Cannock Magistrate Court on January 24. She was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

The DWP is working to recover the stolen money.


Mel Stride

Mel Stride said 'Benefit fraud is unfair to the taxpayer and especially to those most in need of support'


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride said: “Benefit fraud is unfair to the taxpayer and especially to those most in need of support.

“That is why we are using all our powers, backed up by our £900million counter-fraud plan, to catch these fraudsters and deter others from cheating the system.”

The scam bust comes as the department is spending £900million on counter-fraud operations.

With spending spread across three years, more trained specialists will be recruited to review millions of Universal Credit claims.

The department said that its enhanced counter-fraud programme and wider benefit checks helped to prevent losses of at least £18billion last year.

It is aiming to save the taxpayer £1.3billion through its counter-fraud and error strategies in the current financial year.

You may like