Melissa Caddick death: More remains wash ashore after teens’ grisly find on Aussie beach

More human remains have washed ashore in Australia after a foot belonging to alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick was found on a beach by three teen campers.

Forensic investigators attended the site near Mollymook Beach on NSW’s south coast about 6.30pm on Friday after part of a human torso was found, 7NEWS reported.

DNA testing will be required to determine whether the remains belong to Caddick, whose foot was discovered more than three months after she vanished from her Sydney mansion.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said yesterday it was one of the most high-profile missing persons’ cases he had worked on in his 30 years on the force as dozens of investigators worked to find the missing woman.

Caddick, 49, was accused of conning her friends and family out of more than A$20 million (NZ$21.3m) through her fraudulent investment business Maliver Pty Ltd.

Caddick disappeared from her Dover Heights home in the early hours of November 12, hours after investigators from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raided her house and told her she would need to hand in her passports the next morning.

But the massive investigation into where Caddick might be came to an end after three teenage boys came across a shoe at a beach on NSW’s south coast on Sunday afternoon.

One of the campers went to dispose of the Asics sneaker in a bin, only to make the horrifying discovery that there were bones inside, and alerted authorities, 9News reported.

Yesterday police confirmed remains found on the remote Bournda Beach matched DNA of the missing woman taken from her toothbrush.

What Caddick did

Leaked documents, obtained by earlier this month, detail exactly how investors were duped into giving their hard-earned money to Caddick.

Each of the investors happily gave their money following a “strong personal recommendation from people they trusted”.

All of her investors — who helped Caddick eventually amass a A$20m fortune — were long-standing friends of Caddick or her family members.

In almost all cases of those who chose to invest, their relationship with Caddick or a family member had spanned for more than 20 years.

And in a further tragic twist, often the person who made the recommendation to invest had already been unwittingly sucked in.

Over the years, no red flags with Caddick or her business were ever raised. Any investor who wanted to withdraw their funds had done so with ease, and on repeated occasions.

How it unravelled

ASIC investigators launched an investigation in September 2020 after another financial advisor reported Caddick was using her financial services licence without permission.

Investigators began to sift through the documents given to investors, finding nothing was legitimate.

Bruce Gleeson, the court-appointed liquidator, earlier this week said he had not found a single genuine document given to investors.

“There are hundreds of false bank statements, share contracts and share trading statements,” he said.

Gleeson also admitted none of the CommSec accounts she gave to her clients “have been found to be true”.

It’s believed Caddick was copying and pasting letterheads from CommSec to create the fraudulent documents and maintain investors’ trust.

'Living large' on investor funds

Before Caddick landed in the crosshairs of ASIC, the 49-year-old businesswoman and her husband Anthony Koletti were living the high life – all on the money invested into Caddick’s allegedly fraudulent business.

There is no suggestion Koletti, Caddick’s teenage son or anyone else in her family had any knowledge or involvement in Caddick’s alleged fraud.

A bank statement from Caddick’s American Express card revealed the couple were forking out around A$600,000 a year to fund their high-roller lifestyle.

Documents from ASIC revealed Caddick had dropped a whopping A$230,000 at Christian Dior, A$120,000 on skiing trips to Aspen and A$108,000 at Flight Centre between December 2017 and August 2020.

Dominic Calabria, a partner at Bridges Lawyers, who is representing a number of victims that trusted Caddick with their savings, told The Sydney Morning Herald it was clear the Dover Heights couple had been “living large”.

Caddick's disappearance

The night before she vanished from her A$7m home, Caddick was filmed by ASIC investigators.

Panicking, Caddick was seen on the footage questioning the officers from the Australian Federal Police and the ASIC investigators.

Caddick was told she needed to hand her passport in and was informed her assets would be frozen.

Hours later, at 5.30am on November 12, she slipped out of her family’s home and was never seen again.

A tragic end

The disappearance of Caddick baffled police and her friends and family for months but that mystery was solved this week when campers discovered a shoe, with a decomposed foot inside, on a remote beach.

Three teenage boys walking along Bournda Beach, near Tathra on NSW’s south coast, just after 12pm on Sunday made the grisly discovery.

DNA testing on the remains this week confirmed the foot belonged to Caddick.

“[The foot] had been in the water for some time. Scientists were able to extract DNA from the foot and match it to a sample of DNA that we had already obtained from a toothbrush belonging to Melissa from her relatives,” Assistant Commissioner Willing told reporters.

“Police have always kept an open mind in relation to what the circumstances were for her disappearance, including the fact that Melissa may have taken her own life,” he said.

ASIC offered its condolences to the friends and family of Caddick and said it would push on with trying to uncover their lost funds.

“ASIC’s priority is to seek the return of funds to investors in the most efficient way possible”, an ASIC spokesperson said in a statement.

“ASIC will continue to work with the receivers and provisional liquidators to prepare for the Federal Court hearing listed on 7 and 8 April. ASIC considers the hearing should go ahead as a priority to seek return of funds to investors.”

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