Missing Australian millionaire and alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick has been found dead following a bombshell development in the months-long case.
Police said Caddick’s foot was found on a NSW south coast beach by campers, and her identity confirmed by DNA testing using her toothbrush.
Her shoe, matching the description of what she was wearing when she disappeared, was found washed up on the sand and her heavily decomposed remains were inside.
The businesswoman vanished from her A$7 million Dover Heights mansion in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in November last year just two days after Australian Federal Police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raided the home.
She was forced to hand over her passports and had her bank accounts frozen.
Detectives believe Caddick’s body could have entered the water at Dover Heights and travelled as far as the south coast. Investigations have not been able to determine when she entered the water, but her foot was found dry and decompressed.
There had been no sightings reported of her since she disappeared.
Police used modelling software to examine coastal patterns and determined an “object that entered the water around the Dover Heights area on November 11 could drift down as far as Bermagui”.
Caddick is accused of swindling clients, including friends and family, out of millions of dollars through her finance business Maliver Pty Ltd.
It’s alleged she used the cash to fund her lavish lifestyle, which featured luxury ski trips and designer jewellery.
Caddick left to go for a run on the morning of November 12 and hadn’t been seen since.
Her 15-year-old son told police he heard the front door close about 5.30am.
Investigators had combed through hours of CCTV footage but were unable to find any sign of the Sydney mother.
Earlier in the week the provisional liquidators sifting through Caddick’s affairs revealed the alleged tangled web of lies and fake documents they believe she used to dupe investors before vanishing.
Bruce Gleeson and Daniel Soire, of Jones Partners, were appointed as provisional liquidators of Maliver and as receivers of her property in December.
While addressing the media on Wednesday, Gleeson said there was little doubt Caddick had used investor funds to live an extravagant lifestyle, including splashing out on property.
“The way that she continually represented to investors that their investments were safe, that their investments were increasing in value,” he alleged.
“All the investors believed that all was going well. But obviously nothing could be further from the truth.”
On Monday the Federal Court heard there was a “significant shortfall” between the millions investigators allege Caddick owes devastated investors and the value of her own luxury assets.
The court was told liquidators had found just A$5600 in the 49-year-old’s bank accounts as the investigation by ASIC into her company Maliver continued.
ASIC’s barrister Stephanie Fendekian said there was still one further A$1700 payment to be made for Caddick’s son and DJ husband Anthony Koletti’s court-ordered living expenses.
Neither Caddick’s son nor Koletti are accused of any wrongdoing in relation to the ASIC investigation or her disappearance.
In December, the court heard the financial planner was allegedly operating her company without a license as it drained a combined A$13.1 million of investors’ cash, with many not seeing a return.
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