Cancer faker Belle Gibson has turned over financial records and replied to a series of questions about her health claims as Victoria’s consumer watchdog steps up its investigation into alleged fundraising fraud.
Ms Gibson was called to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday as Consumer Affairs sought proof of her company’s charitable donations and responses to health-related questions since she admitted her story of cancer survival was a lie.
A Consumer Affairs Victoria spokeswoman said Ms Gibson’s court appearance was averted after she provided documents on Thursday. Her responses are now under consideration.
The watchdog began pursuing Ms Gibson after a Fairfax Media investigation revealed the founder of The Whole Pantry smart-phone app and cookbook had withheld thousands of dollars raised for charity through two fundraising appeals.
Through an exclusive fundraising event in St Kilda and an online appeal pledging to donate app-sale proceeds, Ms Gibson solicited money from a fan base of more than 200,000 people in the name of five charities. The promised proceeds were not handed over.