Missing alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick has been hit with dozens of new charges relating to eight years of alleged fraud – despite police believing she is dead and admitting her disappearance may never be solved.
Caddick was charged with 19 counts of falsely claiming to have a financial services licence, one of failing to produce a licence and 18 counts of dishonest conduct in relation to financial products in a Sydney local court.
As well as the 38 new charges filed by Australia’s corporate regulator, the new documents filed revealed the extent of her alleged crimes while running the unlicensed Maliver Pty Ltd.
The frauds are said to have taken place over seven years and 11 months against a total of 29 individuals and companies.
The Federal Court heard more than $13million of investors’ funds were deposited into Melissa Caddick’s account (pictured at a black tie event with husband Anthony Koletti, wearing necklace which is reportedly valued at $250,000). He is not accused of wrongdoing
Melissa Caddick (pictured centre in blue) is seen posing for a photo at a business meeting with clients
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission brought the new charges, although it is also taking separate action in the Federal Court.
Caddick is alleged to received at least $13million from unsuspecting clients and investors, and blown her fortune on luxury items and lavish overseas trips.
Her $8million Dover Heights home was raided by ASIC on November 11, confiscating high end fashion label handbags, shoes and clothes. She disappeared after the raid.
There was no sign of her until a foot was found by campers in a trainer washed up on Bournda Beach on the New South Wales South Coast three months later.
There was a DNA match between the limb and material from Caddick’s toothbrush.
Caddick (centre) also splurged $63,000 on holidays to Fiji, $37,000 on a trip to New York as well as $120,000 on several skiing trips to Aspen. Pictured with her husband Anthony (right), who is not accused of wrongdoing
It is understood a lack of credible witnesses and an absence of relevant CCTV footage has NSW Police starting to think her disappearance may never be solved, The Daily Telegraph reported.
More than 50 possible sightings were reported to NSW Police in the weeks after her disappearance – but none proved solid leads, let alone leading to Caddick being found.
An ASIC spokesperson avoided reaching a conclusion about whether she was alive or dead – although her decomposed foot washed up on a beach in February, The Australian reported.
‘It is not for ASIC to determine if, or speculate on whether, Ms Caddick is alive,’ the spokesman said.
‘That is a matter for the NSW Police and — should it come to that — a coroner.’
It did however withdraw its arrest warrants for Caddick – which were issued in February – and its lawyer noted it was unable to issue the relevant court notice to the defendant.
‘A large number of additional and, unsurprisingly, distressed consumers who claim to have invested with the defendants have contacted ASIC and provided further information,’ documents filed at the Federal Court read.
‘[And given] documents to ASIC regarding their investments which show that they have invested approximately $13.1m with the defendants.’
The matter will be heard in court in Sydney on Tuesday.
The running show that washed up on Bournda Beach (pictured), 400km from Caddick’s home, contained human remains that were a DNA match to her toothbrush
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
Two forensic experts have raised a theory that Caddick may have died elsewhere before being moved closer to Bournda beach, where her foot and trainer were discovered.
The south coast beach is more than 400km from where Caddick was last seen at her lavish Dover Heights home in Sydney.
‘That is remarkable but it can happen,’ said Professor John Hilton, a forensic pathologist said.
Mr Hilton said it was possible a foot could survive such a long journey through the ocean without being destroyed and without the shoe being covered in barnacles, as some have speculated.
The 400km-plus journey taken by the shoe that was found to contain Caddick’s foot
Ulladulla SES workers scoured the NSW south coast for Caddick’s remains after the shoe was found
But he added ‘what astonishes me is they found it at all’, given the size of the area involved.
Mr Hilton acknowledged it was possible she died closer to where the foot was found.
‘There are all sorts of bizarre stories, including dismemberment with bits and piece thrown in the ocean much closer to where the foot washed up,’ he said.
Another forensic expert Professor Johan Duflou expressed similar surprise to Mr Hilton and thought it was possible her body was moved.
‘I would have thought it was relatively unlikely the entire body would go that far and remain intact, but whether a shoe can or not, I don’t know.’
He suggested police may need to explore the area around where Caddick’s foot was found.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing has also said foul play against 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 Caddick entered the water near Dover Heights, where she lived, around November 12.