A chance encounter in a dentist’s waiting room led to one woman making money from missing Sydney businesswoman Melissa Caddick, court documents reveal.
The 49-year-old vanished without a trace from her Dover Heights home in the city’s east on November 12.
An investigation has been opened by ASIC into her alleged financial misconduct and the Federal Court heard this week that a flood of investors have come forward since her high-profile disappearance, claiming they were owed up to $13.1million.
But court documents have revealed one woman from Woollahra who had invested with Ms Caddick after meeting her through a friend on a ski trip in Aspen managed to get back $2.8million.
Melissa Caddick (pictured) vanished from her family home on November 12 and hasn’t been seen for more than a month
Ms Caddick, who had met the woman in January, told her she was a financial advisor who dealt with around 15 people.
The Woollahra woman was given two referees by Ms Caddick and then invested $2.5million with her in April.
The pair became friends and had even had dinner at Ms Caddick’s home a few months after she invested.
It wasn’t until the woman started speaking with another patient in her dentist’s waiting room that she realised her money may not have been in safe hands.
The other patient, who was a financial advisor, told the woman Ms Caddick had been using her Financial Services Licence without her authorisation.
The Woollahra woman called Ms Caddick immediately and told her she would need all her money back to invest in another property.
Ms Caddick gave her back the $2.5million she had invested as well as $300,000 in returns.
The incident was revealed to ASIC investors in mid September.
Melissa Caddick (pictured centre with husband Anthony Koletti, right) boasted of having a five-star holiday apartment in the wealthy ski town of Aspen, Colorado
Ms Caddick curls up on the lounge during a luxury Fijian getaway in 2017. The court was told she travelled overseas 25 times between 2009 and August 2020, according to Border Force
It comes as it was revealed the chief investigator into Ms Caddick’s alleged fraudulent activity warned she could take off overseas at short notice just three days before she disappeared.
Melissa’s vanishing act: Countdown to her disappearance
September 8, 2020: ASIC opens an investigation into Melissa Caddick and her company Maliver Pty Ltd
November 9: Following forensic detective work, ASIC investigator swears an affidavit warning Ms Caddick could take off overseas at short notice
November 10: Federal Court orders Ms Caddick’s passport be confiscated and her assets frozen
The Australian Federal Police raid her Dover Heights home that same day
November 12: Melissa Caddick is last seen leaving her house to go for a jog
November 13: Husband Anthony Koletti reports her missing to NSW Police
In an affidavit sworn on November 9, top investigator Isabella Lucy Allen expressed concern about Ms Caddick’s frequent overseas travel and payments to the United States.
Ms Allen was worried about how Ms Caddick had flown overseas some 25 times between 2009 and August 2020 – including 13 trips to the US, where she boasted of having a five-star holiday apartment in the rich kid’s playground of Aspen, Colorado.
Meanwhile, ASIC investigators were also troubled by Ms Caddick owning a bank account which contained only US dollars. The businesswoman tipped $340,000 into the account in August – which later mysteriously disappeared.
ASIC was concerned enough that investigators sought Federal Court orders confiscating Ms Caddick’s passport and freezing her assets on November 10.
A judge signed off on the court orders and police raided Ms Caddick’s $6.1 million Dover Heights home that same day.
Two days later, on November 12, Ms Caddick mysteriously vanished.
Detectives were told she may have gone for her morning jog about 5.30am.
However, they are yet to spot her running along her usual route that morning on local CCTV cameras.
Unnamed friends of Ms Caddick’s likewise cast doubt on the morning jog claim and said she had recently suffered an ankle injury, and had only been working out on the treadmill in her home gym.
So far, ASIC has uncovered an alleged scheme in which Ms Caddick allegedly misused investors’ funds, after luring them in with the prospect of dazzling returns.
Investors believe Ms Caddick’s enterprise worked like a Ponzi scheme – where old clients received ‘returns’ from the money of newer investors she had signed up
She allegedly created fake CommSec portfolio statements for her clients in order to impress them with the wealth she was generating for them.
Investors believe Ms Caddick’s enterprise worked like a Ponzi scheme – where old clients received ‘returns’ from the money of newer investors she had signed up.
ASIC has accused Ms Caddick – who had 29 bank accounts – of using more than $690,000 from investors to pay off her American Express credit card bill.
Court documents said she racked up five-figure spends on luxury products such as Dior, Chanel and Canturi jewellery using that card.
There’s no direct evidence of her taking off overseas and officers are understood to be open to other explanations for her disappearance as well.
Provisional liquidators will likewise be appointed over her wealth management company, Maliver Pty Ltd.
Where did she go? Melissa Caddick’s overseas travels
ASIC was concerned that Melissa Caddick’s could be a flight risk as she had traveled overseas 25 times in the past decade. Her trips included:
THIRTEEN to the United States, every year since 2012 and on occasion, two or three times
FIVE to Fiji, in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
THREE to the United Kingdom, in 2010 and 2011
ONE trip each to Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore