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Real Life

Belle Gibson avoids charges over fraud claims

Belle Gibson’s fraud charges have been dropped by the Victorian Police.

By Chloe Lal
The controversial health guru made headlines when doubts were raised over the legitimacy of her claims that she survived a brain tumour for five years with alternative cancer treatments. Her wellness philosophy lead to a book deal and a successful health app and website, titled The Whole Pantry.
Victorian police began looking into criminal charges, including obtaining financial advantage by deception, however they’ve since dropped the investigation.
“The matter was assessed by Victoria Police and we are not investigating it,” police spokesman Kris Hamilton told the Herald Sun.
The Melbourne entrepreneur’s case will now be investigated by Consumer Affairs Victoria who’ll determine if any offences were in fact committed.
The consumer watchdog explained that if a business advises that they give money to charities from their sales, without doing so, may constitute a breach of the Fundraising Act 1998 or Australian Consumer Law (Victoria).
“Businesses are obliged to ensure that any representations related to their products or services do not mislead consumers and all representations are true and accurate,” it said in a statement last month.
Adding they’ll be looking into, “Ms Gibson and her associated companies as to the nature of any fundraising appeals that may have occurred, including details of beneficiaries and net proceeds given.”
“Once we ascertain the facts, CAV will be able to make an assessment of the situation and determine whether any further action is appropriate.”
As a result of the investigation, Apple have now removed her wellness App and her US cookbook deal has been cancelled.
Belle has spoken out once against the claims to The Daily Mail, but has shut down her social media pages.
“At the end of the day, I am a human being on the receiving end of comments, questions and emails and even if the public are used to a digital interaction with me, it does not warrant some of the recent responses,” she said of the scrutiny she received following the launch of the investigation.

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