Victorian photographer Carly Soderstrom was broke FOR Covid-19 hit and GuFundMe campaign

The business of a Victorian woman who received more than $61,000 from generous Australians after a video of her lockdown situation went viral was already broken before Covid-19 even hit.

Carly Soderstrom’s cry for help received national attention last week and saw a GoFundMe page founded by a friendly Victorian quickly earn her $61,119 before being abruptly shut down.

The 35-year-old’s video had grabbed the hearts of generous Australians who put their hands in their pockets for the sole proprietorship.

Carly Soderstrom’s cry for help gained national attention last week and saw a GoFundMe page quickly earn $61,119

Carly Soderstrom's company went bankrupt before Covid-19 even hit Australia

Carly Soderstrom’s company went bankrupt before Covid-19 even hit Australia

Carly Soderstrom's business was doomed before Covid hit

Carly Soderstrom’s business was doomed before Covid hit

Ms Soderstrom, who ran a photography business in Torquay, 60km from Melbourne, had claimed Victoria’s fifth lockdown was responsible for her business’s failure.

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that Ms Soderstrom’s business had failed long before Victoria was hit by a single lockdown.

Her company, 21, 15, Nine, was placed under external management on January 16 last year after struggling through 2019.

As sole director of the company, Ms. Soderstrom was left with about $3,000 in inventory, a Jeep Wrangler, and debt totaling $406,152.

Of that, $386,542 was owed to unsecured creditors, including ordinary Victorians who had supplied goods, services or cash to Ms. Soderstrom.

A man was left with $220,000 out of pocket from her failed business.

When liquidators arrived last year, Ms Soderstrom owed the Australian tax authorities a whopping $64,603 – slightly less than the amount she just received from struggling Australians.

Ms Soderstrom hung up the phone when contacted by Daily Mail Australia on Friday.

Founder of the Just Be Nice Project, Josh Reid Jones, exposed Ms. Soderstrom in a video that is now going viral on its own.

The charity leader had access to Ms Soderstrom’s business records of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission when he saw the kindness of Australians on the side of the struggling business owner.

Carly Soderstrom's tears saw friendly Australians come to her aid.

Carly Soderstrom’s tears saw friendly Australians come to her aid.

A GoFundMe page set up for Carly Soderstrom by a benefactor raised her over $61,000

A GoFundMe page set up for Carly Soderstrom by a benefactor raised her over $61,000

Josh Reid Jones exposed Ms. Soderstrom in a video that is now going viral on its own.

Josh Reid Jones exposed Ms. Soderstrom in a video that is now going viral on its own.

Dog Act: Carly Soderstrom has come under fire for claiming Covid was behind her failed business

Dog Act: Carly Soderstrom has come under fire for claiming Covid was behind her failed business

Mr. Jones claimed that Ms. Soderstrom, as the sole director of a failed company, should not have acted at all during the pandemic.

He went on to suggest that her company was guilty of the mortal sin of failing business while insolvent.

“Trading during insolvency is illegal. You may not do it, but the books and accounts do not appear to have been passed during the liquidation process. So it’s unclear,” he said.

However, a preliminary stance from the trustee stated: ‘given the number of claims from creditors and the fact that there are minimal recoverable assets, the company probably traded while insolvent’.

While Mr Jones accepted that legitimate businesses were struggling under lockdown, Ms Soderstrom’s business was already well and truly done before the pandemic hit, he claimed.

Josh Reid Jones exposed Ms. Soderstrom in a video that is now going viral on its own.

Josh Reid Jones exposed Ms. Soderstrom in a video that is now going viral on its own.

Carly Soderstrom's photography business was doomed before the pandemic hit Australia

Carly Soderstrom’s photography business was doomed before the pandemic hit Australia

“So this person who claims to be the representative of small business and all people, freedom and all this stuff is also the person who liquidated a company while owed $400,000 in early 2020, as we go into one of the most challenging economic times for many families, individuals and small businesses,” he said.

“After liquidating a company that was unable to pay the people or companies it bought things from in the amount of $400,000 and then asked for money from people who out of the goodness of their hearts have pocketed and contributed,” he said.

“I just think there are so many people, so many places that would benefit from that.”

Daily Mail Australia can reveal that GoFundMe has been notified of Ms Soderstrom’s situation and is investigating with a view to returning all money donated by Australians.

Mr Jones has been contacted by Daily Mail Australia.

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