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Phony adviser still at large, police say

Sarah Kendell
— 1 minute read

NSW Police have renewed calls for information around a missing Sydney woman who posed as a financial adviser and is believed to still be at large after allegedly misappropriating tens of millions of dollars in client funds.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said despite Melissa Caddick’s disappearance from her home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on 12 November, police did not yet believe she had come to any harm.

“We are treating the case as if she’s alive,” Mr Fuller said in a radio interview this week.

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“We’re still actively looking for CCTV, downloading information from her car’s computers and door-knocking where she might be.”

Mr Fuller expressed optimism in police finding a lead on Ms Caddick’s whereabouts.

“In 2021, it’s difficult to go missing and not be found given the electronic footprint we leave behind and cameras and a whole range of other electronics we have,” he said.

Provisional liquidators were appointed to Ms Caddick’s company, Maliver, in December last year, and are due to provide a report to the Federal Court on the extent of her debts to investors by 15 February.

The corporate regulator had applied for Ms Caddick’s business and personal property to be liquidated after concerns that the company was providing financial services without a licence and that “investor funds may have been unlawfully dealt with”.

ASIC said concerns had also been raised that Ms Caddick was using the AFSL of another firm without authorisation.

The court orders prevented Ms Caddick from accessing assets held in her or the company’s name, other than for the payment of living expenses of $1,700 per week for her husband and son.

Mr Fuller said ASIC’s investigation into Ms Caddick’s dealings related to “perhaps tens of millions of dollars” in investment fraud.

“There are potentially hundreds and hundreds of victims out there,” he said.

In December, the court heard investors had paid more than $13 million to Ms Caddick before she disappeared.

ASIC is continuing its investigation into Ms Caddick and Maliver, with the next Federal Court hearing set for 22 February.

 

Phony adviser still at large, police say
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