Italian influencer under investigation for alleged fraudulent Christmas cake charity program.

Prosecutors allege that consumers were deceived into believing they were supporting a Turin hospital by purchasing a cake endorsed by Chiara Ferragni.
One of Italy’s most influential figures stated that she was feeling “calm” after being placed under investigation for fraud in connection with a Christmas cake charity initiative.
Investigators in Milan have launched a probe into Chiara Ferragni, who, as a fashion influencer, has amassed an estimated €40m fortune and 29.5 million followers over the course of more than ten years. This comes after she was fined €1m by Italy’s anti-trust authority in December.
The authority claimed that consumers were misled into believing that by purchasing a pandoro cake endorsed by Ferragni, an alternative to the traditional panettone produced by the Piedmont-based company Balocco, they were making a donation to a hospital in Turin.
Both Ferragni and the head of Balocco, Alessandra Balocco, are now facing allegations of aggravated fraud. Balocco has also been fined €420,000 by the anti-trust authority for deceiving consumers. Prior to launching the campaign, she had contributed €50,000 to the Turin hospital and did not make any further donations. The cake sales reportedly generated £1m.
This investigation comes after weeks of discussions in Italy about the influence and profit of influencers, particularly when it comes to products they promote under the guise of charity.
Ferragni, who has lost 200,000 followers since the cake scandal came to light, issued a statement saying, “I am calm because I have always acted in good faith, and I am confident that this will be evident in the ongoing investigation. I have full trust in the judiciary’s work, as well as in my legal team.”
In a video released in December, Ferragni, almost in tears, admitted to a “communication error” and pledged to donate €1m to the Turin hospital.
At the age of 36, Ferragni started her career by launching a fashion blog called The Blonde Salad in 2009. The blog was so successful that she decided to abandon her law studies at Milan’s prestigious Bocconi university, focusing instead on her own brand where she sells clothing and accessories while working as an influencer.

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