This Blogger Was Fined $400K For Pretending To Have Cancer And For Selling Her Supposed ‘Cure’
She tricked sick people into buying her cookbook and app.
A blogger turned cookbook author from Australia has been fined $410,000 for scamming followers into investing in her so-called ‘cure’ for terminal cancer.
Belle Gibson was 20 years old when she claimed she was diagnosed with brain cancer and was given four months to live. She told her followers on Instagram and Facebook that she was determined to beat the illness by natural methods, and refused to have conventional treatments such as chemotherapy.
She insisted she had healed herself through healthy eating, and released a cookbook called The Whole Pantry and a wellness app in an effort to make money off her fake disease.
However, intense questioning from the media forced her to confess, and in 2015 she admitted she’d made the whole thing up.
Now aged 25, Belle has been ordered by the Court of Consumer Affairs to pay $90,000 for falsely claiming to make donations for the sale of her app, $50,000 for false claims that she’d donate to charity following her app launch, and $90,000 for false claims that her company would make charity donations.
She has also been fined $150,000 for falsely claiming to make donations to the Schwartz family, whose son suffered from brain cancer, and an additional $30,000 for false claims that she’d donate to charity off the back of a Mother’s Day event.
On announcing the fines, Federal Court Justice Debra Mortimer said, “One of the clear demonstrations of the dishonesty and self-interest attending Ms Gibson’s conduct was the fact she and the company she controlled did not in fact make any donations to the organisations she had mentioned in her publicity statements until public questioning of her claims.”
She added, “It appears she has put her own interests before those of anyone else. If there’s one theme or pattern which emerges through her conduct, it is her relentless obsession with herself and what best serves her interests.”
What do you make of Belle’s actions?
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