Belle Gibson was a wellness guru out of Australia who developed a considerable following and became relatively popular in certain circles. She earned over $400,000, but her world came crashing down after it was discovered that she had duped more than 300,000 consumers by lying to them about suffering from cancer. She was found guilty of five different violations of consumer laws and is on the hook for $283,000 in fines. Despite not having the money to pay the fines, she has still been able to live a life of luxury, taking trips and gambling through sportsbooks.
Gibson offered a cookbook, Whole Pantry, and an accompanying app and promoted both by telling everyone that she had been cured of cancer through healthy eating. Her story was swallowed by consumers; however, it didn’t take long, as with all similar stories, for the tale to begin to unravel and Gibson was ultimately revealed to have lied about her cancer.
She was brought before a judge this week and questioned by lawyers with Consumer Affairs Victoria who wanted to know why she hasn’t paid any of the fine. In her defense, she said she had less than $30 in cash and about $1,200 to $1,500 in cryptocurrency, the latter of which she asserted is not “an asset.”
However, Gibson was forced to turn over two years’ worth of bank statements during the hearing. In those statements was evidence that she holds a sports gambling account with Sportsbet, an online sportsbook that offers sports wagers and horseracing gambling.