A wealthy Sydney businesswoman under investigation for swindling millions went around flaunting a necklace she boasted was worth $250,000 before she vanished.
More evidence has emerged of the extravagant life Melissa Caddick led prior to her bizarre disappearance from her Dover Heights home three weeks ago.
Further claims have also been made that the amount she allegedly misappropriated from investors could be anywhere between $25 million and $40 million.
A former friend of the 49-year-old said a necklace custom-made by internationally renowned jeweller Stefano Canturi was her pride and joy.
Named Stella, the necklace featured an extraordinary 83 carat Australian black sapphire and ‘cubism-set’ diamonds in 18 carat white gold.
‘She had this (necklace) at the property in her safe,’ the source said. ‘She bought it as an investment. She said, many a time, it was $250,000.’
The necklace is yet another example of Ms Caddick’s stunning wealth which includes a $6.2 million cliffside mansion, a $300,000 supercar, a private chef to cook organic meals for her family and holidays in Aspen’s skifields for a month each year.
Melissa Caddick went missing two days following a raid on her home as part of an Australian Securities and Investment Commission investigation. Above, she is seen at a black tie event with husband Anthony Koletti and her necklace which is purportedly valued at $250,000
‘Inspired by the night sky’: Ms Caddick’s necklace is so fancy it was written up in The Australian newspaper’s Executive Living section. It features an 83 carat Australian black sapphire – described by Canturi as ‘the most rare – ‘cubism’ set diamonds and is created in 18 carat white gold
Ms Caddick was close friends with the prestigious Castlereagh St, Sydney jeweller Mr Canturi, whose wife confirmed Ms Caddick had the pricey piece especially crafted for herself.
‘The necklace, Stella, was custom made for Melissa in a category called High Jewelry,’ Patricia Canturi said.
‘High jewelry’ commands prices starting at $100,000 and going up from up there, Ms Canturi said.
Mr Canturi has an international reputation and his A-list clients include Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey.
At 83 carat, Ms Caddick’s feature stone dwarfs even Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring, which features a single 12 carat blue rock.
A profile of Ms Caddick’s jewellery piece by The Australian newspaper’s Executive Living section described its centre stone as ‘one of the biggest’ black sapphires there is.
The cloud over Ms Caddick has unsettled staff at the jewellery salon. ‘This is such an unusual situation for all of us,’ Ms Canturi said.
This latest example of Ms Caddick’s high-flying status comes as ASIC probes the sources of her income and her sudden disappearance continues to baffle police.
Ms Caddick, on left wearing her pricey necklace at an Audi gala, was a long term client of internationally acclaimed jewellery designer Stefano Canturi (right)
The black sapphire centrepiece of her necklace dwarfed Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring (above)
Ms Caddick had been under investigation by the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, for at least three months before her sudden disappearance on November 12.
ASIC was probing whether her company Maliver Pty Ltd had misused millions from investors.
They were largely friends and associates, and are believed to include a syndicate of doctors.
ASIC was also investigating if she had wrongly been using another company’s financial adviser licence, her own having long since expired.
One victim allegedly invested $5 million with Ms Caddick while another who lost a fortune with her company reportedly ‘dry-retched’ when she found out the businesswoman was missing.
The pressure was on Ms Caddick before she disappeared. Two days before she went missing, ASIC secured a Federal Court order against her and her company.
She was banned from travelling overseas and her assets were frozen. Ms Caddick’s home was raided by the Australian Federal Police that same day.
Ms Caddick (centre) and her husband Anthony Koletti (right) would regularly jet off to Aspen, Colorado, where they stayed in a five-star residence at luxury resort, The Little Nell
Mr Koletti zooms about town in an Audi R8 which retails for about $300,000 and goes from 0 to 100km/h in three seconds. He’s not suggested to be involved in Ms Caddick’s disappearance or have knowledge of her possible financial misconduct
Detectives were told Ms Caddick was believed to have left the house for her morning jog about 5.30am on Thursday, November 12. Husband Anthony Koletti said it was unusual she let without her phone.
She was reported missing 24 hours later after she did not return. Last week, police revealed they are yet to locate Ms Caddick on CCTV footage on her jogging route.
Police are now asking anyone with dashcam footage from 6.30pm on November 11 to 8.30am on November 12 to come forward.
Investigators are following several lines of inquiry and haven’t ruled out the possibility Ms Caddick may have absconded.
Ms Caddick owned 99 per cent of her $6.2 million Dover Heights mansion – the other one per cent held by her brother
Ms Caddick’s Dover home (kitchen in foreground) boasts a spectacular view of the Sydney city skyline as well as its famous harbour (background)
Ms Caddick’s family have been assisting police. Her DJ-cum-hairdresser husband Anthony Koletti urged her to come home.
‘You know how much we love you,’ he said. ‘Everything’s taken care of, you’re not in trouble.’
Meanwhile, ASIC’s investigation continues. The regulator is seeking to appoint a liquidator to Ms Caddick’s company, plus a receiver and manager to her property.
The court case returns on Tuesday.
Melissa Caddick: Timeline of Sydney woman’s disappearance
November 10: Federal Police raid Melissa Caddick’s Dover Heights home in connection with an investigation by corporate regulator, ASIC.
Ms Caddick is also hit with a Federal Court order demanding she surrender her passport and restricting her assets.
November 12: Ms Caddick leaves her home in her activewear about 5.30am, with her son hearing the door close behind her.
Her family find she has left her keys and phone at home.
November 13: Ms Caddick’s husband Anthony Koletti contacts NSW Police and reports her missing.
Detectives are seen at the home and police launch an extensive search of the area.
November 17: NSW Police issue appeal for help from the public in finding Ms Caddick
November 19: Mr Koletti and Ms Caddick’s brother, Adam Grimley, urge Ms Caddick to come home, her husband saying ‘you’re not in trouble’
November 25: Media report police are investigating – among several theories – that she may have staged her own disappearance
November 26: Friends reveal her WhatsApp accounts have been accessed since her disappearance, according to its ‘last seen’ feature. Police later clarify it was her husband, or investigators
November 27: A court hearing is told the investigation into Ms Caddick is a ‘murder investigation’ – but that is hotly disputed by NSW Police
December 1: Detective appeals for dashcam footage of Ms Caddick’s jog and reveal she is yet to be spotted on CCTV