Fake wellness guru grilled over finances
Disgraced wellness guru Belle Gibson has been ordered to hand over more information about her finances after failing to pay a $410,000 for duping Australians with a fake cancer story.
It comes as forensic accountants examine two years of her bank statements, including “curious aspects” relating to crypto-currency and futures trading as well as a Sportsbet account revealed in the Federal Court in Melbourne on Tuesday.
“(The documents) reveal a great many transactions overwhelmingly in the nature of discretionary spending,” Consumer Affairs Victoria barrister Elle Nikou Madalin said.
She grilled the 27-year-old over expenses including food, clothes, rent, legal fees, debts and holidays.
“I would like to examine Gibson on where her money is actually going,” the barrister said.
“The bank statements I have seen today reveal a great many Afterpay payments.”
Gibson says she can’t afford to pay the penalty handed to her in September 2017, but “absolutely” intends to should she become able.
The former wellness guru was fined after claiming she had brain cancer and healed herself with natural remedies including diet and alternative therapies.
She also said she would donate money from her Whole Pantry app and book sales to charities, including to a boy with inoperable brain cancer.
Gibson received $440,500 from sales of her app and book but donated only about $10,000 to charity.
On Tuesday, she told the court she received a government benefit and many of her living expenses were covered by a man she lived with, whom she owed at least a $90,000 to in late 2017.
Earlier, Gibson’s barrister Andrew Tragardh said his client could not afford to keep coming back to court.
“My client doesn’t have unlimited resources to pay for lawyers to assist her,” he said.
Gibson was previously been told she risked going to jail for failing to pay the $410,000.
She has been ordered to produce additional financial documents and is expected to return to court on June 6.
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