What will happen to Melissa Caddick’s millions: Breakthrough over future of Australia’s most notorious fraudster’s $23million bounty as investors rally against her parents
- Melissa Caddick vanished in November 2020
- She stole millions from investors
- Her victims have agreed to how funds will be split
Melissa Caddick’s defrauded investors have joined forces to rally against the conwoman’s parents’ claims they should get preferential access to what remains of her estate.
Caddick’s victims came to an agreement in the Federal Court on Wednesday on how they would divide the fraudster’s now $7million estate after her belongings were auctioned off late last year.
The group also revealed they will launch a bid to block Caddick’s parents Barbara and Ted Grimley’s attempt to use the money to pay off their mortgage on an Eastern Sydney apartment purchased on their behalf by their daughter.
Vanessa Whittaker, representing the receivers in charge of liquidating the 49-year-old’s estate, told the court that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of investors had agreed to split funds on an equal footing.
Melissa Caddick with her husband Anthony Koletti, who was forced to vacate her Dover Heights home when it was put up for sale
The move puts to rest the possibility that efforts to pay back creditors would descend to a drawn-out legal fight as individual investors sought priority over others.
‘The upshot is the out-of-pocket investors, the overwhelming majority … have informed the receivers they agree with a pari-passu approach (on a par, or equal footing),’ Ms Whittaker said.
She told the court that 54 of 55 investors had agreed to the ‘equitable’ process set out by receivers, while the last simply didn’t respond.
The move comes a month after Justice Brigitte Markovic warned there was a ‘dwindling pool of money’ that should not be wasted on legal fees.
More than $23m 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 for the receivers have told the court the pool of funds recovered through liquidation has been ‘fixed’, apart from an ongoing challenge over an Edgecliffe property in Sydney’s east.
Defrauded investors have agreed to a framework to recover the millions of dollars stolen by Caddick. Pictured is her Dover Heights mansion in Sydney’s eastern suburbs
The court was told there would be a legal challenge over the apartment Caddick bought for her parents.
In an affidavit filed with the court, the Grimleys claim they made a $1m payment to Caddick to contribute to the property’s purchase.
They have sought the court apply the proceeds of the sale of Caddick’s home to be applied to the Edgecliffe mortgage.
A hearing has been set for April 28 on the issue, with a legal representative for ‘Investor A’ successfully applying to join and contest the proceeding on behalf of investors.
The court was told there might be an ‘interim distribution’ of funds from the sale of Caddick’s Dover Heights home to defrauded investors depending on the outcome of the April hearing.
Caddick vanished from her Dover Heights home in November 2020, a day after ASIC and the NSW Police raided the property.
Pictured: Caddick’s mother Barbara Grimley (left) and father Ted Grimley depart the inquest into her death at the Lidcombe Coroners Court in Sydney in September 2022
Caddick’s belongings have been sold to help her victims recover funds
Among the items seized by investigators were jewellery, watches, designer clothing and shoes
The corporate watchdog says Caddick misappropriated investor money to fund her lavish lifestyle, with investigators seizing luxury items including jewellery, watches, designer clothing and shoes.
She was declared dead four months after her disappearance in February 2021 when a decaying foot was found on a beach 400km south of Sydney.
An ongoing coronial inquest is seeking to uncover the cause and manner of her presumed death, with findings expected to be handed down in April.
Since her disappearance, court-appointed receivers Jones Partners have unravelled the conwoman’s scam.
Earlier this year, it was revealed Caddick’s Dover Heights home sold for $9.8m.
Caddick’s remains were found on Bournda beach (pictured) three months after she vanished