A Gold Coast mother accused of scamming more than $ 120,000 from a children’s dance competition company has claimed that she “borrowed” money when her personal bank accounts were “hacked.”
Jennifer Lea Fisher, 44, has accused her former business partner Lauren Phoebe Costar, 29, of diving into the finances of their company to secretly finance her lifestyle.
The couple met in 2017, when their daughters were taking dance lessons together, and decided to set up their own joint company, SSB Productions on the Gold Coast.
In a lawsuit filed with the Brisbane Supreme Court, Fisher claimed that Mrs. Costar had taken $ 127,114 from their business bill and used the money for shopping, KFC orders, Uber rides, streaming services, and other personal expenses.
Dance mother’s legal battle: Jennifer Lea Fisher (left) 44, accused her former business partner Lauren Phoebe Costar (right) 29 of diving into their joint business account to secretly finance her lifestyle
She also accused her of violating their business agreement after Mrs. Costar launched a rival company called “Future Stars Dance Competition” last year.
She is looking for $ 50,000 in damages.
Costar responded to the claims in a statement of defense last month, in which she admitted to borrowing some money in December 2018, The courier mail reported.
She claimed that she plunged into the fund after her personal bills were frozen when they were “hacked,” but later repaid the money.
She also denied that they had violated their contract by saying that they launched ‘Future Stars Dance Competition’ in May last year after the two agreed SSB Productions would close the following month.
Ms. Fisher included a 12-page list in her lawsuit that revealed that Ms. Costar reportedly spent $ 1,600 on items at JB Hifi, dance outfits, Airbnb, Pet Barn, Nicks Wine Merchants, and other purchases.
Of the $ 127,114, $ 117,694 was used for personal expenses and cash withdrawals, while the remaining $ 9,417 was spent on other items, although it is unknown whether they were used for business.
Mrs. Fisher started legal action in August last year after realizing that money had been missed in the account months earlier.
She then discovered that several payments had been made for Mrs. Costar’s personal life, including the payment for Instagram followers.
Mrs. Fisher (right) claims that Costar used the business PayPal account to buy Instagram likes for her daughter and order pizza, wine, flowers and Uber rides without her knowledge
Fisher assumed that Costar paid the Instagram followers for her daughter Laila, who has 14,000 followers on the platform.
When Fisher confronted the other dance mom on Facebook on 26 May, Costar ignored the claim during the discussion.
According to legal documents, the 44-year-old subsequently destroyed Costar and claimed that she was ‘taken’.
She also asked for a payment of $ 417 for a dance costume, a payment of $ 217 for Nick’s wine merchants, further dance outfits and an entry fee for the fishing competition.
However, Costar would have told the other mother that she had said she had used the bill for personal use and promised to repay the money.
‘We have discussed the money that I owe future stars and I have always said that I will repay. I have never hidden what I used it for, “she said via Messenger.
Mrs. Costar insisted she didn’t take Fisher “for a ride,” and the couple agreed to end their partnership after the disagreement.
The account is now managed by Mrs. Costar’s mother, who has taken over the reign of the competition.
Fisher filed a petition with the court last month to have her counterparty hand over the dance business bills, but it wasn’t until August 20 when Justice David Boddice allowed her to file a claim against Costar.
Mrs. Fisher told the court in her statement: “I am very concerned that (Mrs. Costar) used the company’s revenues and profits for her own purposes and set up a competitive company to the detriment of the shared company.”