Missing woman’s family’s ‘staggering’ ask
The family of accused fraudster and missing Sydney woman Melissa Caddick initially requested a living allowance of $4880 a week, a court has heard.
The request, described as "staggering" by lawyers for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, was heard in the Federal Court on Tuesday as the financial regulator seeks to appoint a provisional liquidator for Ms Caddick's company Maliver.
The court also heard on Tuesday that investors had sunk more $13 million into the fund managed by Ms Caddick, who has been missing for over a month.
The court heard an application from barrister David Sulan, acting for Ms Caddick's brother Adam Grimley, in which he asked the court to increase the living expenses for her husband Anthony Koletti and family.
The court was told they were receiving an allowance of $800 a week; however, Mr Sulan argued it was inadequate to meet their living expenses.
ASIC's barrister Stephanie Fendekian told the court Ms Caddick's dependants had initially applied to be paid living expenses of more than $4800 a week.
"When we first received the affidavit and the proposed orders of the defendant we were told the ordinary living expenses translated into a staggering $4880 a week without any real explanation or further evidence," Ms Fendekian said.
"Now a significantly less figure is provided."
However, Mr Sulan said the $4800-a-week estimate was provided at a time when Ms Caddick's family had access to limited information.
He said at that point, it wasn't clear whether a receiver would be appointed and the amount included a provision for mortgage repayments on their Edgecliff home, one of two they owned in Sydney's exclusive eastern suburbs.
The corporate watchdog has alleged Ms Caddick misappropriated investors' money and used it to fund a lavish lifestyle.
The court was told on Tuesday investors had placed $13.1 million into the fund, and most of them had not been paid back.
"A large number of additional and unsurprisingly distressed consumers, who have claimed to have invested with the defendants, have contacted ASIC and provided further information regarding their investments," Ms Fendekian told the court.
"On that evidence these investors invested approximately $13.1 million with the defendants, and the majority have not received any funds back."
Ms Fendekian also told the court investigations of Ms Caddick's financial position had revealed she had $4 million in various bank accounts.
When ASIC and NSW Police raided her home on November 11, the day before her disappearance, they discovered documents as well as luxury items, including jewellery, watches, designer clothing, accessories and shoes.
"The documents revealed there might be further property, including valuable assets in Sydney and the United States, owned by the defendants," Ms Fendekian said.
Ms Caddick, 49, was last seen at her $7 million I Dover Heights home in November, and police have stepped up their investigation into her disappearance.
It's believed she left her home about 5.30am on November 12 to go on her morning run but did not take her phone and hasn't been seen since.
Ms Caddick failed to appear in court on the day that she disappeared.
Last month, a barrister acting for Mr Grimley claimed her disappearance was being dealt with as a murder investigation.
However, NSW Police denied the suggestion and said they were treating it as a missing person's case.
The court has agreed to freeze her assets as well as confiscated her passport.
ASIC has alleged that Maliver was providing financial services without an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).
It's further alleged that Ms Caddick was using the AFSL of another company and had forged CommSec documents to inflate the value of the fund and mislead investors about the state of their investments.
The court also was told that the family had incurred legal bills of $66,000.
There is no suggestion Mr Koletti was involved in his wife's business dealings.
Originally published as Missing woman's family's 'staggering' ask