What happens to Melissa Caddick’s millions: breakthrough on the future of Australia’s most notorious fraudster’s $23 million bounty as investors balk at her parents
- Melissa Caddick disappeared in November 2020
- She stole millions from investors
- Her victims have agreed on how the funds will be divided
Melissa Caddick’s defrauded investors have joined forces to challenge the con artist’s parents’ claims that they should be given preferential access to her estate.
Caddick’s victims reached an agreement in federal court on Wednesday over how they would divide the fraudster’s estate, which is now worth $7 million after her remaining assets were auctioned off late last year.
The group will also try to block Caddick’s parents Barbara and Ted Grimley, who want to use some of the estate’s money to pay off the mortgage on an East Sydney apartment their daughter bought on their behalf.
Vanessa Whittaker, who represents the trustees responsible for liquidating the 49-year-old’s estate, told the court that the “overwhelming majority” of investors had agreed to distribute the funds on an equal pro-rata basis.
Melissa Caddick with her husband Anthony Koletti, who was forced to leave her home in Dover Heights when it was put up for sale
The agreement avoids a lengthy legal battle between those who felt they should have been given priority over the estate’s funds.
“The result is that the out-of-pocket investors, the vast majority … have informed the trustees that they agree with a pari-passu approach (at par or at par),” Ms. Whittaker.
She told the court that 54 of the 55 investors had agreed to the “fair” process drafted by trustees, while the latter simply did not respond.
The move comes a month after Judge Brigitte Markovic warned there was a “dwindling amount of money” that should not be squandered on legal fees.
More than $23 million is still owed to investors in Caddick’s financial services company Maliver, which the Australian Securities and Investments Commission claims was an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the trustees have told the court that the pool of funds recovered through liquidation is ‘fixed’ apart from an ongoing challenge over an Edgecliffe property in eastern Sydney.
Swindled investors have agreed to a framework to recover the millions of dollars stolen by Caddick. Pictured is her townhouse in Dover Heights in Sydney’s eastern suburbs
The court was told there would be a legal challenge over the apartment Caddick had bought for her parents.
In an affidavit filed with the court, the Grimleys claim they made a $1 million payment to Caddick to help purchase the property.
They have asked the court to apply the proceeds from the sale of Caddick’s house to the Edgecliffe mortgage.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 28, where a legal representative of ‘Investor A’ has successfully filed an application to participate on behalf of investors and challenge the proceedings.
The court was told there might be an “interim distribution” of funds from the sale of Caddick’s home in Dover Heights to defrauded investors, depending on the outcome of the April hearing.
Caddick disappeared from her home in Dover Heights in November 2020, a day after ASIC and NSW Police raided the property.
Pictured: Caddick’s mother Barbara Grimley (left) and father Ted Grimley leave the inquest into her death at Sydney’s Lidcombe Coroners Court in September 2022
Caddick’s belongings have been sold to help her victims recover money
Among the items seized by investigators were jewelry, watches, designer clothes and shoes
The corporate watchdog says Caddick embezzled money from investors to fund her lavish lifestyle, with investigators seizing luxury items including jewelry, watches, designer clothes and shoes.
She was pronounced dead four months after her disappearance in February 2021 when a rotting foot was found on a beach 400 km south of Sydney.
An ongoing corona investigation is trying to determine the cause and manner of her presumed death, with findings expected to be handed over in April.
Since her disappearance, court-appointed trustees Jones Partners have been unraveling the scammer’s scam.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Caddick’s home in Dover Heights had sold for $9.8 million.
Caddick’s remains were found three months after her disappearance on Bournda beach (pictured).