Melissa Caddick was offered food, water and took a nap during a raid of her luxury mansion, contrary to the missing fraudster’s family’s claims about her treatment at the hands of police and the corporate watchdog.
The 49-year-old disappeared from her Dover Heights mansion on November 12, 2020, just hours after her home was raided by the Australian Federal Police and ASIC.
The inquest into Ms Caddick’s disappearance and suspected death on Monday resumed before Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan.
The corporate watchdog has accused Ms Caddick of operating a Ponzi scheme and misappropriating $20m-$30m worth of investor funds to fund a lavish lifestyle, including holidays, designer jewellery, watches, clothing and shoes.
She has been accused of posing as a financial adviser, using her company Maliver, and pretending to invest millions of dollars for clients using fake CommSec portfolios.
The court has been told that ASIC began investigating Ms Caddick in September 2020, around the time she booked a shredding company to drop off several large bins at her home to dispose of documents.
The court has been told that Ms Caddick’s mother Barbara Grimely held ASIC responsible for her daughter’s death and claimed that Ms Caddick was not offered food or drink during the raid.
Ms Caddick’s husband Anthony Koletti, a hairdresser and part-time DJ, had raised similar accusations through his music, Paws Offs, counsel assisting Louise Coleman previously told the court.
In his songs, Mr Koletti claims that Ms Caddick was given no food or water and that “a lady was tortured” and her “basic humanitarian rights were ignored”.
However, in one video captured on police body-worn footage the day after Ms Caddick went missing, Mr Koletti told officers that his wife appeared “very normal” the evening prior to her going missing.
Mr Koletti’s lawyer Judy Swan on Monday asked AFP Constable Amelia Griffen whether Ms Caddick was offered food or drink during the 12 hours the AFP and ASIC were present at her house.
Constable Griffen told the court that she recalled Ms Caddick having a protein shake in the morning.
“I recall asking if she wanted anything to eat or drink,” Constable Griffen said, adding that she couldn’t recall seeing her eat anything else.
Constable Griffen said Ms Caddick and Mr Koletti were told they were free to roam around the premises, including going to the toilet, as long as there was an officer present with them at all times.
Police knocked on Ms Caddick’s door shortly after 6am and stayed for 12 hours, during which they served her with a 92-page affidavit detailing the allegations against her.
Isabella Allen, who was the lead investigator in ASIC’s investigation into Ms Caddick, told the court on Monday that the fraudster took a nap in the afternoon when officers were still present in her home.
“She filed her nails from time to time,” Ms Allen said.
Asked by counsel assisting Jason Downing: “Were you made aware by any people by any person whether Ms Caddick took any medication?”
No,” Ms Allen said.
“Were you made aware Ms Caddick had requested any medical attention?” Mr Downing asked.
“No,” Ms Allen replied.
The court was told that in November 2019 and June 2020, financial adviser Jennifer Porter contacted ASIC to report that Ms Caddick was using her Australian Financial Services Licence number to run her company, Maliver.
Ms Porter then had a chance encounter with one of Ms Caddick’s investors, Dominique Ogilvie, inside a dentist’s office in mid-2020.
From April to June 2020, Ms Ogilvie invested $2.5m through Ms Caddick.
Ms Ogilvie asked Ms Porter whether Ms Caddick was “dodgy” and the pair met at Ms Ogilvie’s home later that day.
Ms Ogilvie then rang Ms Caddick to tell her that she was withdrawing her funds, telling her that she was going through a divorce and needed the money back to buy a house.
In August 2020, Ms Caddick returned Ms Ogilvie’s money along with $382,000 in purported profits, with ASIC beginning their investigation in early September.
The court was told on Monday that Ms Caddick in mid-September contacted a document shredding business, Shred-X, to come to her home.
However, Ms Allen told the court that she didn’t believe that Ms Caddick had been given leaked information into their investigation.
“We still don’t believe the Shred-X contact was made because she had been tipped off,” Ms Allen said.
The inquest continues.