A former English National Ballet dancer turned dance choreographer stands accused of lying to a group of his young pupils and defrauding their parents by allegedly promising the youngsters would appear at the closing ceremony for the London Olympics.
As reported by the Daily Mirror and plenty of British publications, 35-year-old former English National Ballet dancer Stephen Moonesamy has been arrested and charged with fraud after allegedly falsely convincing some 75 children from a dance company based out of his hometown of Northampton that they would get to take part in the closing ceremony of the forthcoming Olympics in London.
According to the Northampton Chronicle, Moonesamy choreographed three different dances for the young performers which allegedly were to be incorporated into the closing ceremony, except for the fact that the dances were never to be included in the ceremony whatsoever; Moonesamy simply made that up.
"We are appalled that these young people appear to have been misled in such a way," a spokesman for the London Organizing Committee told the Mirror. "The matter is in the hands of the police."
As it is, the police wasted little time in bringing Moonesamy up on charges, with the 35-year-old delivered four different charges of fraud in a British courtroom on Monday. While the dancer and choreographer may face serious charges in the future, that would appear to do little to console the children who were most directly affected by the scandal.
"We had been practising so hard and I was really looking forward to it," 9-year-old Bethany Burlin told the Mirror. "I told all my family and friends I would be dancing in front of 80,000 people in the stadium and millions all over the world on TV. When my mum told me it was all off, I just started crying."
Added Burlin's mother, Claire Burlin: "I think nine is just too young to learn such a hard lesson in life. It is just so cruel. … It just all looked so legitimate. We never thought for a second that this would happen. The Olympics will be ruined for them now."