Belle Gibson, an Australian who rose to fame with her cookbook The Whole Pantry and an app for the same in which she has claimed to have found a cure for her brain cancer through alternative therapies and nutrition. She managed to breach several consumer laws and deceived many to accumulate a wealth of $420,000. It was later found out that she never had cancer.
A look into her bank account revealed that Gibson used the wealth for trading cryptocurrency and also for sports betting. This led to a criminal case under which she was fined $410,000 in a penalty, back in 2017. She has failed to pay her penalties and even refused to appear before a judge but was later summoned in a Federal court to have her financial records examined.
Forensic accountants have started to go through her bank statements after she failed to pay her penalties for a long period of time. Gibson’s lawyer has given a folder of documents divided into 18 sections, which mostly covers her expenditure and bank statements over the two year period.
The lawyer also said that his client cannot afford to keep coming back to the courts due to the cost involved in the legal proceedings and requested the matter to be dealt by Tuesday. He said,
“My client doesn’t have unlimited resources to pay for lawyers to assist her”
The court has been informed about the fraudsters use of money in crypto trading, future trading and sports betting. The amount of wealth she accumulated by falsely claiming to be a cancer patient who has cured it with her personal remedies and diet, along with that she also lied to the consumers that she would donate the money from her app and cookbook to various cancer-focused charities and also promised to help a kid with inoperable brain cancer.
Although Gibson accumulated over $440,000 from her cookbook and app, she only donated around $10,000 in charity.
Consumer Affairs Victoria barrister Elle Nikou Madalin said,
[The documents] reveal a great many transactions overwhelmingly in the nature of discretionary spending,”
Gibson might face a jail term for her forgery and failing to pay her penalties.