DISGRACED health character Belle Gibson is facing a capability courtroom-imposed penalty of up to $1.1 million after lying to clients.
Consumer Affairs Victoria’s legal counsel instructed the Federal Court on Thursday the most penalty of $1.1 million applies if the court accepts Gibson made five contraventions of client laws.
Consumer Affairs Victoria accused Ms. Gibson of engaging in “unconscionable behavior” after she curated a large social media following.
Ms. Gibson, who claimed that she changed into recognized with mind cancer in 2009 and given four months to stay, took in more than $1 million in earnings from her cookbook and app The Whole Pantry.
At the time, she told enthusiasts that she’d eschewed traditional cancer remedies in favor of “clean ingesting” and juice cleanses.
In April 2015, the 25-year-antique advised The Australian Women’s Weekly that her claims were false.
“No. None of it’s actual,” she confessed. “I am still leaping among what I assume I know and what is the reality. I have lived it, and I’m now not virtually there yet,” she said.
As well because of the fraudulent most cancers claims, Consumer Affairs Victoria additionally accused Ms. Gibson of now not passing on up to $300,000 in promised charity donations.
“The alleged contraventions relate to fake claims by Ms. Gibson and her corporation concerning her prognosis with a terminal mind most cancers, her rejection of traditional cancer treatments in favor of herbal remedies, and the donation of proceeds to numerous charities,” CVA stated in an announcement in 2016.
Ms. Gibson has been banned from making misleading claims about her health in connection with well-being advice and became ordered through the Federal Court in April to pay $30,000 in the direction of the criminal expenses of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
On Thursday, Justice Debra Mortimer reserved her choice on consequences for the businesswoman.
Justice Mortimer said she had no evidence on Gibson’s economic position as she had now not participated in any court hearings, and as such could not be implementing a penalty on that foundation.
Justice Mortimer criticized Gibson for again and again failing to turn up to the court docket.
“I’m not aware of a case wherein this level of non-participation has passed off. There’s honestly no evidence of contrition or remorse,” Justice Mortimer said.
“One view is that she is so embarrassed (that she gained show). Any other is that she is thumbing her nose on the court.”
The decide said CAV’s request that Gibson publicly apologizes intricate as there has also been no evidence she turned into definitely sorry.