A woman who nearly invested money with missing fraudster Melissa Caddick decided against it after meeting up with her and feeling something was ‘a little off’.
The Sydney woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said after discussing finances over lunch with the conwoman, she was given a ‘very odd response’ when she asked about her trading approach.
Ms Caddick vanished the day after corporate watchdog ASIC executed a search warrant at her luxury Dover Heights home on November 11.
Her decomposed foot in a rare Asics shoe was found 400km away from her home on Bournda Beach on February 21 and police overnight confirmed they had now called off the search for the 49-year-old.
While detectives say the fraudster may have taken her own life, the woman who had lunch with Ms Caddick believes something more sinister may have been at play.
A woman who nearly invested with missing fraudster Melissa Caddick (pictured) decided against it after meeting up with her and feeling something was ‘a little off’
She told The Daily Telegraph she had a theory that Ms Caddick had been ‘influenced by a larger criminal cartel that operated’ and suggested she may have been ‘abducted’.
‘It would be those that she may have had ties to through larger criminal activity,’ the woman said.
‘She is not the type to suicide and she is not that mischievous or particularly ingenious to come up with the financial scheme idea on her own.’
In text messages between the pair, Ms Caddick is seen asking the woman to meet up and telling her she had been investing with private clients at the time.
‘Will talk to you about what I do, service offer and fees – it’s very transparent,’ Ms Caddick said in a text.
The woman said she feels like she ‘dodged a bullet’ after deciding not to hand over any money to Ms Caddick.
The fraudster is suspected of fleecing $25million from 60 investors – who all fell for her sales pitch that she would make them huge returns – and splurging the money on designer clothing, jewellery and overseas trips.
In text messages between the pair, Ms Caddick is seen asking the woman to meet up and telling her she had been investing with private clients at the time (mocked up messages)
Ms Caddick (pictured with husband Anthony) vanished the day after corporate watchdog ASIC executed a search warrant at her luxury Dover Heights home on November 11
The disappearance of the wealthy financial advisor shocked many around Australia – especially those who grew up with the once curly-haired schoolgirl.
Former friends who went to school with Ms Caddick told the publication they were shocked after she turned up at their 30th reunion in designer clothes and without her wild curls.
Melissa Linabury who went to both primary and high school with the 49-year-old in Lugarno, south Sydney, said she was always a ‘lovely friend’ while growing up.
Reconnecting with Ms Caddick, once known as Melissa Grimley, at their high school reunion in 2018, Ms Linabury said she assumed her old friend must have married someone wealthy.
‘She was dressed lovely and I remember saying to my husband when I came home that I presumed she had married very well, married someone quiet well off, because she had been on a lot of overseas holidays and drove a nice car. I just presumed she’d married someone quite wealthy,’ she said.
Another classmate, Susanna Dale, recalls Ms Caddick was wearing a designer green jacket with jeans – an outfit that made her stand out at the casual pub hosting the event.
Divers have stopped looking for the remains of the 49-year-old financial adviser after searching over 6,000sq/m in the water off Dover Heights in Sydney’s east on Friday
Authorities raided her $6.2million Dover Heights mansion on November 11 (pictured is bodycam footage of the raid)
‘She presented as extremely wealthy. We were just looking at her jewellery and going “wow, she is doing well for herself” with all the designer clothes and the jewels,’ Ms Dale said.
Attending the school reunion was also Shane Parry, who said it was shocking to hear the news regarding their former school friend who ‘never was in strife’ and had ‘no enemies at all’.
Divers have stopped looking for the remains of the 49-year-old financial adviser after searching over 6,000sq/m in the water off Dover Heights in Sydney’s east on Friday.
Bad weather hampered search efforts earlier this week, but now the mystery of whether the conwoman’s deceased body is at sea may never be fully resolved.
Liquidators say the 49-year-old mother ‘meticulously and systematically’ deceived those who entrusted millions of investment dollars to her over seven years, then used the money to fund her lavish lifestyle.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing earlier told reporters foul play against Ms Caddick was possible but suicide was more likely.
Modelling by NSW Police marine rescue teams, taking tides and drift patterns into account, has explored the possibility that Ms Caddick entered the water near Dover Heights, where she lived, around November 12.
The modelling deemed it possible that her foot could have drifted to Bournda Beach, where it was discovered by a group of campers.
Caddick is seen with her husband Anthony. She disappeared on November 12