In Search of Melissa Caddick and the Missing Money

On 15th December 2020 Daniel Soire and myself were appointed Provisional Liquidators of Maliver Pty Ltd and Receivers to the property of Melissa Caddick by the Federal Court of Australia pursuant to an application by ASIC. The Caddick case continues to attract significant interest, particularly given the recent announcement by NSW Police that they have found certain body parts of Ms Caddick on the NSW South Coast.  The cause of her death has not as yet been determined.

Our appointment was taken understanding the very deep emotional and financial impact on Investor creditors, many of whom were family, friends and or former work colleagues of Ms Caddick. These Investors have invested hundreds of thousands of their dollars both individually and also via their Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. The Investor creditors were informed by Ms Caddick that her company, Maliver Pty Ltd held an Australian Financial Services Licence when it did not.

Our appointment has required us to prepare and file detailed reports to the Court in each administration on or before 15th February 2021 covering a range of issues. In preparing and filing these reports, we have undertaken a deep and rigorous forensic review of 1000’s of documents and in many circumstances had to reconstruct financial records to explain transactions which occurred over the seven (7) period that Ms Caddick was purportedly providing financial services via her company. In addition, we have interviewed various related parties and many Investor creditors.

But it is a very timely reminder for anyone considering how they might invest their money (either within or outside of superannuation), particularly given the insignificant amount that is being earned on term deposits etc. Some of these considerations are:

  1. Never feel rushed – take your time and verify the offer or other investment details. It is your money!!
  2. Only use a licensed financial adviser– whilst we have many excellent financial advisors in Australia, you should use the strong regulatory framework that exists and check that they are in fact registered. If they are not, give them a wide berth. This is not negotiable. A go to website here is:

https://moneysmart.gov.au/financial-advice/financial-advisers-register.

  1. Watch for factors that seem too good to be true – every scam seems to have certain factors that give it a sense of believability. Be pragmatic and apply a sceptical mind to it. Again, it is your money!

The Caddick matter is back before the Court on 7th April 2021. The hearing may include appointing myself and Mr Soire to be Liquidators of Maliver Pty Ltd as opposed to the current position whereby we are Provisional Liquidators.  Such appointment would likely enable us to start realising assets of Maliver Pty Ltd.  However, as was indicated in Court on 22 February 2021 many of the assets which Maliver Pty Ltd has an interest in are held in the name of Ms Caddick. There are also assets which are held directly in Ms Caddick’s name. Importantly, at this stage, our appointment as Receivers to Ms Caddick’s property does not authorise us to sell her assets. So, stay tuned and we look forward to being able to discuss the matter more fulsomely over the coming months as the matter progresses, particularly how Ms Caddick was able to go on living such an extravagant lifestyle, albeit funded by Investor creditors.