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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Inside Melissa Caddick’s ‘web of lies’: friends of missing millionaire reveal they were ‘conned’

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Newly-released footage has provided the last glimpses of Melissa Caddick just hours before the millionaire funds manager went missing, as her furious former friends described her as ‘evil’ for betraying them.

The new footage showed police raiding her $6.1million Sydney mansion at 6am on November 11 last year – a day before her disappearance – as part of investigations into allegations she had siphoned off tens of millions of dollars from her clients when she was supposed to be investing for them.

The 49-year-old allegedly took more than $20 million of investors’ money to fund her jetsetter lifestyle of designer clothing, luxury cars and exotic holidays.

Detective Inspector Gretchen Atkins told 60 Minutes on Sunday night that police had had ‘some pretty tough conversations as to what’s happened’ with Caddick’s younger partner Anthony Koletti.

Mr Koletti, an unemployed DJ who met Caddick while working as a hairdresser, waited 30 hours after she left the house before reporting her missing.  

The detective said Mr Koletti was not as ‘proactive’ as some spouses can be when their partner goes missing.

The disappearance of Ms Caddick has perplexed investigators but infuriated her former investors, as hopes fade for them ever recovering the funds they entrusted to her.

Investigators are treating police bodycam footage from the raid on Melissa Caddick's home on November 11 as the last confirmed sighting of her. She disappeared the next day

Investigators are treating police bodycam footage from the raid on Melissa Caddick’s home on November 11 as the last confirmed sighting of her. She disappeared the next day

Melissa Caddick's youner husband Anthony Koletti (pictured together) claims to have not heard from her since her disappearance. He is not accused of any wrongdoing

Melissa Caddick’s youner husband Anthony Koletti (pictured together) claims to have not heard from her since her disappearance. He is not accused of any wrongdoing

Michelle Leslie, who was once Caddick’s personal trainer before the pair became close friends, entrusted the financial adviser with her nest egg. 

Ms Leslie and her partner Billy McMore handed over their retirement savings to the Caddick, but are now facing the reality that they may never see their money again.

‘She’s a narcissist. Evil woman. I hope you’re watching this Melissa. I can’t wait to see you in a jail cell,’ a furious Ms Leslie told 60 Minutes.

‘It’s the betrayal, just the lies and the stories this lady spun.’ 

One day before vanishing after going for a morning run at 5.30am, Caddick’s Dover Heights mansion had been raided by the Federal Police in connection with an investigation by the corporate regulator ASIC.

She was also slapped with a Federal Court order, ordering that her passport be surrendered and barring her from selling, disposing of or mortgaging her assets.

ASIC was probing whether her company Maliver Pty Ltd had misused millions from investors. The victims were largely friends and associates.

Michelle Leslie and her partner Billy McMore handed over their retirement savings to Ms Caddick, but they are now facing the reality that they may never see that money again

Michelle Leslie and her partner Billy McMore handed over their retirement savings to Ms Caddick, but they are now facing the reality that they may never see that money again

Cheryl Kraft Reid and her wife Faye, who had been friends with Caddick for more than 25 years, handed over their $800,000 superannuation for her to invest on their behalf

Cheryl Kraft Reid and her wife Faye, who had been friends with Caddick for more than 25 years, handed over their $800,000 superannuation for her to invest on their behalf

Documents also show she used her client’s investment money to pay off her personal credit card bill, as well as make loan repayments for an Edgecliff penthouse she bought for her parents.

Caddick is also accused of splurging on luxury brands such as Dior and Chanel, overseas holidays, limousines and even protein shakes.

Ms Leslie said she and Caddick had plans to catch up the day before she was raided by police, but from then on she couldn’t get ahold of her. 

‘I said to Billy ‘something’s going on, something’s not right’. And then we hear about it in the paper six days later that she’s been missing,’ she said. 

At the first the couple weren’t concerned about their money at all, before quickly realising there were ‘sinister implications’ to Caddick’s disappearance.    

Caddick, 49, vanished on November 12, one day after a Federal Police raid on her $6.1million Dover Heights home for allegedly misappropriated tens of millions in investors' funds

Caddick, 49, vanished on November 12, one day after a Federal Police raid on her $6.1million Dover Heights home for allegedly misappropriated tens of millions in investors’ funds 

The corporate watchdog alleges Ms Caddick would open up fake CommSec accounts for her clients and send them fake monthly reports of how their shares were going (pictured, on a ski trip)

The corporate watchdog alleges Ms Caddick would open up fake CommSec accounts for her clients and send them fake monthly reports of how their shares were going (pictured, on a ski trip)

Ms Caddick's husband Anthony Koletti did not tell police or her family that she was missing for more than 30 hours

Ms Caddick’s husband Anthony Koletti did not tell police or her family that she was missing for more than 30 hours 

After meeting through the gym, the pair become close friends and Caddick often lent Ms Leslie her designer clothing.

Ms Leslie said Caddick told her she loved helping women financially, and was able to use her trust to turn her into her next client. 

Caddick reportedly told Ms Leslie that she had seven spots left on her investment program, and urged her to sign up.  

Cheryl Kraft Reid and her wife Faye, who had been friends with Caddick for more than 25 years, were also duped by the millionaire.

In 2015, the couple handed over their $800,000 superannuation to Caddick for her to invest on their behalf. 

‘She had a story and the story was that she had worked for another company, and her and two other people had built this program,’ Ms Kraft Reid said.

‘And it was such an amazing program that one of the superannuation houses bought it out. But her share of that money was $86 million and she was not allowed to work in the industry for ten years.’ 

Caddick reportedly told the couple that the only reason she was coming back into the investment industry was to help out her friends, and make money for them to live a better life.

When learning through the media of ASIC’s raid on Caddick’s home, the couple became suspicious and checked their account, only to realise their portfolio didn’t even exist and their superannuation had disappeared.

‘When I called [CommSec] and told them the account number, they then said there was no such account,’ Ms Kraft Reid said.

‘It was the first real point in time that I allowed myself to believe that everything Melissa had told us was a lie.

‘What a level of entitlement. How do you stand there in front of someone and play a role and have a facade where you care and you’re a friend… How do you maintain that facade when all the while you’re taking them to the cleaners?

‘We were manipulated because it was Melissa who was our friend.’ 

A detective explained that there are 'a lot of accounts, a lot of movement and a lot of money,' linked to the matter

A detective explained that there are ‘a lot of accounts, a lot of movement and a lot of money,’ linked to the matter

Anthony Koletti, 38, is understood to be spending his time at his in-laws place in Edgecliff - rather than his missing wife's mansion (pictured, having a coffee in Bondi on January 15)

Anthony Koletti, 38, is understood to be spending his time at his in-laws place in Edgecliff – rather than his missing wife’s mansion (pictured, having a coffee in Bondi on January 15)

Ms Kraft Reid’s sister Pamela is one of her four siblings to have also trusted her retirement savings with Caddick.

Pamela estimates her family has lost between $3million to $5million. 

‘It’s what you work for 40 years to provide yourself with at the end,’ she said. 

Damning financial records show that from the start of 2018 through to September last year, more than $20 million was deposited into Caddick’s accounts.

She has since withdrawn all but $700,000.   

Investigators are now treating police bodycam footage from the raid on Caddick’s $6.1million home as the last confirmed sighting of her.

Caddick was pictured in activewear calmly chatting to an ASIC officer in the office of her eastern suburbs mansion. 

Ms Caddick, 49, used to live an extravagant lifestyle with her husband (on right, she is wearing a Stefano Canturi necklace she claims was valued at $250,000)

Ms Caddick, 49, used to live an extravagant lifestyle with her husband (on right, she is wearing a Stefano Canturi necklace she claims was valued at $250,000)

Damning financial records show that from the start of 2018 through to September last year, more than $20 million was deposited into Caddick's accounts

Damning financial records show that from the start of 2018 through to September last year, more than $20 million was deposited into Caddick’s accounts 

Detective Inspector Gretchen Atkins revealed Caddick’s husband Anthony Koletti didn’t behave in the way a spouse typically would after their partner goes missing. 

‘He’s slightly more restrained. He isn’t always ringing us, which is different to what we would normally see,’ she said. 

‘He’s doing what he can to assist us when we ask for help. I think he’s struggled to be what you would expect … to be proactive.’

Mr Koletti told investigators he assumed his wife had gone for a walk in her activewear at 5am on November 12, despite leaving her phone, wallet and keys behind. 

He then mysteriously waited a further 30 hours to report her disappearance to police.

‘[Mr Koletti] thought she just might have gone somewhere and would come back. It was unusual,’ Inspector Atkins said.  

Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Mr Koletti has any involvement in his wife’s disappearance.

Inspector Atkins said Caddick’s 15-year-old son has been calm during his interviews with police.

‘Speaking to a child about anything at the best of times [is hard]… to ask about where his mother missing is even more distressing for anyone, let alone a child,’ she said. 

‘He is calm. And I guess, 15-year-old boys can be very different but he has been very calm and very honest and very upfront.’

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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