Missing Sydney woman Melissa Caddick allegedly misused $13 million of clients' money to fund lavish lifestyle
The 49-year-old disappeared on November 12 after federal police raided her Dover Heights home as part of an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.
She allegedly used clients' money to fund her lavish lifestyle instead of investing their savings.
It's also alleged her finance company, Maliver, was operating without a licence.
Ms Caddick is being treated as a missing person by NSW Police while all of her assets and accounts have been frozen under a court order.
Today the Federal Court of Australia heard investors had allegedly handed over more than $13 million to Ms Caddick in the lead up to her disappearance.
"A large number of additional and unsurprisingly distressed investors have contacted ASIC… these investors have invested $13.1 million with the defendant and majority have not received any funds back," ASIC's barrister Stephanie Fendekian told the court.
ASIC has now identified as many as 61 potential victims.
Under the court order freezing Ms Caddick's assets, her husband and 15-year-old son can only access $800 a week for "reasonable living expenses".
But lawyers acting for the family argued for the allowance to be increased to cover the cost of food, clothing and counselling.
Barrister David Sulen said there needed to be: "some balance and protection of dependents to [Ms Caddick]."
Tendered court documents reveal Ms Caddick's lavish lifestyle in the lead up to her disappearance, using her credit cards to spend $250,000 at Dior; $60,000 at Chanel and more than $230,000 at Canturi Jewellers.
At the time of her disappearance, Ms Caddick had more than $4 million in various bank accounts.
Ms Caddick's son has told police he heard the door of their Dover Heights home close about 5.30am on November 12 and assumed his mother had gone for a run.
She has not been seen since.
Her disappearance is being treated as a missing person, but police say they are still open to all possibilities including she may have harmed herself or gone into hiding.
The case returns to court on Thursday.