A mum has been accused of funneling tens of thousands of dollars from her kids’ dance business to buy Instagram followers, KFC and flashy clothing.
A mum has been accused of funneling tens of thousands of dollars from her kids’ dance business to buy Instagram followers, KFC and flashy clothing.

Dance mums brawl over $127k spend-spree on Insta-likes, Uber

A GOLD Coast mum accused of secretly siphoning $127,114 from a kids' dance competition business to buy Instagram followers for her dancer daughter, and also to order pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, wine, flowers, dance outfits and Uber rides has denied acting unlawfully.

Jennifer Lea Fisher, 44, of Hope Island, has filed a claim in the Supreme Court in Brisbane alleging that her former friend and business partner Lauren Phoebe Costar, 29, from Pacific Pines, used bank and Paypal accounts - set up for their jointly owned and run dance business - to secretly fund her lifestyle.

Ms Fisher also accuses Ms Costar of breaching her legal obligations to Ms Fisher and their dance competition since May last year, by setting up a rival business, Future Stars Dance Competition, and "unjustly retaining profits" without paying any to Ms Fisher, the claim states.

Facebook image of Hope Island mum Jennifer Lea Fisher who was part of Future Stars Dance competition.
Facebook image of Hope Island mum Jennifer Lea Fisher who was part of Future Stars Dance competition.

 

Ms Fisher is also seeking aggravated damages of $50,000.

In her defence filed last month, Ms Costar denies she breached any obligations to Ms Fisher, or their joint dance business, which ran competitions, offered shopping centre entertainment and workshops.

Ms Costar alleges their dance business partnership failed because Ms Fisher didn't dedicate herself enough, court documents state.

Ms Costar argues that one of the Paypal accounts used for her alleged personal spending was her own Paypal account, and did not belong to the dance business, a claim Ms Fisher denies.

Ms Costar concedes she borrowed some money from their joint business in December 2018 after her personal bank accounts was "hacked" and all her accounts were frozen, but Ms Costar claims she repaid the money once her accounts thawed, a claim Ms Fisher denies.

Ms Fisher has asked the court to order Ms Costar to show how she spent the $127,114 that Fisher claims Ms Costar "took" from their dance business partnership.

Ms Fisher claims that of the $127,114, "taken" by Ms Costar, about $117,694 was spent on cash withdrawals or personal expenses, and the remaining $9417 was spent on items where it's unclear whether they were business related.

Facebook image of Hope Island mum Jennifer Lea Fisher who was part of Future Stars Dance competition.
Facebook image of Hope Island mum Jennifer Lea Fisher who was part of Future Stars Dance competition.

A 12-page list of where Ms Costar allegedly spent the money includes more than $1600 on food from MenuLog, as well as amounts on TV streaming services, at electronics retailer JB Hifi, fashion stores, dance outfits, AirBnB, Petbarn, Nicks Wine Merchants, Flight Centre and Target.

Payments were also allegedly made to The Caribbean Resort in Mooloolaba in June 2017 and for a hotel in Amsterdam via Booking.com in January 2018.

Ms Costar says that any money used for personal expenses was either repaid or set-off against reimbursements owed for business expenses.

Ms Fisher claims that Ms Costar set up "Future Stars Dance Comp" in May last year without Ms Fisher's consent or knowledge, but Costar denies this, arguing they agreed that their joint business, SSB productions, would cease trading on June 30 last year.

Ms Fisher confronted Ms Costar in an ugly war of words on Facebook Messenger last year before taking her to court, asking her if she took money to buy "followings" for her daughter's "Insta account," court documents state.

The case was launched in August last year where Ms Fisher initially asked the court to force Ms Costar to hand over the accounts for the dance business, and passwords for PayPal accounts and social media.

Ms Fisher filed a statement of claim in November alleging Ms Costar failed to give her access to Paypal purchase details and other financial data despite repeated requests after she became suspicious when she learned Ms Costar paid for accommodation in New Zealand for herself and her family, and buying items using Afterpay. No hearing date has been set.

A process server who slapped Ms Costar with the claim at her Pacific Pines home in November alleges in court documents that Ms Costar told her Ms Costar "wasn't home" and said she was just "house sitting".

Future Dance Stars is aimed at children aged 14 and under, and has held events on the Gold Coast, Fraser Coast, Caboolture, Murwillumbah, NSW and Coffs Harbour, NSW.

The next event is in March in Caboolture.


Queensland’s border snub to Sydney is a political gamble

Premium Content Queensland’s border snub to Sydney is a political gamble

OPINION: The Queensland Premier’s decision to continue to shut-out Sydneysiders has...

New KFC store set to open soon

Premium Content New KFC store set to open soon

ABOUT $800,000 will be spent on the fit-out of the Northern Rivers’ newest fast...

Students plant hundreds of koala trees to inspire others

Premium Content Students plant hundreds of koala trees to inspire others

High school students have spearheaded a project to boost koala habitat on private...