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After reviewing thousands of pages of financial documents, provisional liquidators have not identified a single genuine document that missing businesswoman Melissa Caddick provided to her investors.
Melissa Caddick has not been seen since November, the day after she was accused of financial misconduct.Credit:
Bruce Gleeson and Daniel Soire Jones from Jones Partners, the court-appointed provisional liquidators of Ms Caddick’s company Maliver, have spent the last two months “forensically reconstructing” her financial affairs.
The 49-year-old vanished in mid-November, hours after the Federal Police raided her Dover Heights home on behalf of the corporate watchdog, ASIC. Court documents have since revealed Ms Caddick allegedly misappropriated millions of dollars from her clients.
Melissa Caddick during the raid by the AFP. Credit:60 Minutes
While the full amount is yet to be revealed, it is understood to be in excess of $25 million. Investors’ money ended up in her personal bank accounts and was used to acquire property, luxury goods, designer clothes and extravagant holidays abroad, the Federal Court has previously heard.
Ms Caddick passed herself off as a financial adviser with neither her nor her company Maliver holding an AFS licence. It is a criminal offence attracting a two-year jail term and/or a $22,000 fine to conduct a financial services business without a licence.
Upon receiving investors’ funds she then created false bank and Commsec documents to mislead investors into thinking she had invested in shares on their behalf.
Missing persons notification for Melissa Caddick.
“There are hundreds of false bank statements, share contracts and share trading statements,” said Mr Gleeson in a media statement. He also said that the provisional liquidators “have not identified any circumstances” in which any of the CommSec accounts she provided to her clients “have been found to be true.”
The Commonwealth Bank and CommSec have confirmed that the accounts or reference numbers do not exist, said Mr Gleeson.
“Our view therefore is that the documents have been falsified, so as to mislead investors and give Ms Caddick and the Company financial benefits,” he said.
Ms Caddick’s own Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) revealed “fictitious portfolio statements, contract notes and bank statements so as to inflate the value of assets in her SMSF,” Mr Gleeson said.
The liquidator also referred to the extraordinary control Ms Caddick had in regard to information provided to her own external advisors and for those acting on behalf of investors in preparing tax returns and other financial statements.
“Ms Caddick appeared insistent on maintaining such records in various Excel spreadsheets as opposed to using an accounting software package which would likely have given such advisers improved visibility over the reporting of financial information,” Mr Gleeson said in his statement. He concluded that this was done intentionally to enable her to create “misleading financial positions” not just of her company Maliver, but also the financial affairs of her clients.
Mr Gleeson indicated that there would be a forthcoming court application in April to be appointed liquidators of Maliver instead of their current position as provisional liquidators . This would enable them to start selling Ms Caddick’s assets.
As at the end of this week, Ms Caddick’s husband and her teenage son from a previous marriage will not receive any further money from Ms Caddick’s accounts, noted Mr Gleeson. For the last two months the court allowed them living expenses of $1700 per week.
Mr Gleeson urged anyone with any knowledge of Ms Caddick’s financial affairs and assets or other investors who are owed money to contact Jones Partners.
The matter returns to court on April 7.
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