By CCN: An Australian woman who faked cancer and duped people into buying her products, Belle Gibson, may have used the proceeds of her fraudulent scheme to trade crypto among other assets. This emerged after she appeared in court over her failure to pay a…
By CCN: An Australian woman who faked cancer and duped people into buying her products, Belle Gibson, may have used the proceeds of her fraudulent scheme to trade crypto among other assets.
This emerged after she appeared in court over her failure to pay a $285,000 (AUD$410,000) fine, per The Guardian. The fine was imposed two years ago after Gibson was found guilty of breaching consumer law with her fake cancer claims.
Though the amounts that she used to trade cryptocurrencies were not revealed, an attorney for Australia’s consumer watchdog Consumer Affairs indicated that the cancer con artist’s financial statements showed ‘a great many transactions overwhelmingly in the nature of discretionary spending’.
During the court appearance, Gibson’s lawyers presented documents showing her financial spending. However, this did not include statements on cryptocurrency trading. Prodded further, Gibson sounded like well-known bitcoin skeptics as she argued that cryptocurrencies were neither assets nor investments:
I fail to see how crypto-currency is an investment or an asset.
This is a statement that could as well be attributed to legendary investor Warren Buffett or economics professor Nouriel Roubini. Recently, Buffett called bitcoin a ‘gambling device. A few months ago, Roubini branded bitcoin ‘bulls-t’.
Gibson’s fraud started a decade ago when she claimed to have been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given four months to live. Despite the grim diagnosis, Gibson survived and she claimed it was all down to alternative medicine. This included special foods, holistic medicine and oxygen therapy, according to The Sun.
Alleging she could do the same for others, Gibson launched a health and wellness app, Whole Pantry. She also unveiled a blog and wrote a cookbook while building other income streams in 2013. At one point the Whole Pantry app was the most downloaded on the App Store.
Though the details of the amount she generated from her fraud are unclear, she bought a beachside house as well as a luxury car at the time.
At the time Bella promised to donate proceeds from book sales and revenues from her app to charities. Per The Canberra Times, she only donated $7,000 (AUD$10,000) from the $305,000 (AUD$440,500) that she made from the book and app. This is despite having said she would donate 95 percent of the proceeds. This unfulfilled promise, in addition to the inconsistencies in her story, led to doubts about her truthfulness.
Other than trading crypto, her extravagance will make it harder it to convince anyone why she can’t pay the fine.
Though it is not clear when she started trading crypto, if she bought substantial amounts at the bottom last year and is still hodling, the prevailing bitcoin rally could not have come at a better time.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.