Woman who was too smart for Melissa Caddick
She's the mystery woman who financial adviser Melissa Caddick could not fool.
Ms Caddick went missing from Sydney's eastern suburbs last month, leaving behind a tangled web of greed, suspected fraud and missing millions for her devastated clients to untangle.
But one woman, now known as Witness A, was one of the would-be investors who suspected a scam and called it out after Ms Caddick tried to convince Witness A's husband to "invest" more than $250,000 of their savings, a court has been told.
The woman is now a key witness in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's case against the 49-year-old in the Federal Court of Australia.
Her account is detailed in an almost 100- page affidavit written by an ASIC investigator and filed in the court this week.
More than 60 clients have told ASIC they invested their life savings, including their superannuation, with the "meticulous and professional" Ms Caddick.
One man who trusted Ms Caddick with his superannuation this year said he had no reason not to believe her.
She would call regularly and meet him once a month to advise on share purchases, which were reflected in CommSec trading account statements.
"We would run with her recommendations," the man, who knew Ms Caddick for two decades, said.
Ms Caddick's disappearance - hours after the AFP raided her home and took her business documents, laptop and the CCTV hard drive - has uncovered how she splashed hundreds of thousands on a luxury lifestyle while sending allegedly fraudulent statements to clients to make them believe their investments were growing.
Back in mid-2019, Perth-based Witness A and her husband, Witness B, were introduced to Ms Caddick by a "good friend" who was "also a surgeon", the affidavit said.
The surgeon told Witness B that he had been introduced to Ms Caddick "by a colleague" who boasted that he had "doubled his profile" in the space of a year.
Spruiking Ms Caddick's skills and the rare opportunity that was available to invest with her, the surgeon told Witness B she "only takes on new clients when other clients drop out and that she occasionally visits Perth to meet with new clients", the affidavit said.
When Witness B called Ms Caddick, she told him she could make him 20-30 per cent profit per year and required a minimum $250,000 investment.
But his wife was not convinced.
She had "concerns that the account Ms Caddick has asked for the initial transfer to be made did not look like a trust account", the affidavit said.
On September 17, 2019, the wife called Ms Caddick and began probing the issue.
She Googled and performed an ASIC search on Ms Caddick's ABN and ACN plus the Australian Financial Services Licence number she provided.
And she discovered Ms Caddick and her company, Maliver, had no current licence, the affidavit said.
Witness A then called the companies that actually owned the AFSL numbers provided by Ms Caddick.
Neither were affiliated with Ms Caddick, the affidavit said.
One of the companies explained to Witness A that "she had previous dealings with Ms Caddick and that they shared clients for different services", the affidavit said.
Witness A was then told by Ms Caddick that her husband would have access to the CommSec account that would be opened in his name, according to the court document.
The woman made further inquiries about this with CommSec who told her that "a third party should not have access to a CommSec trading account if it was held in their name", the affidavit said.
The third party, or Ms Caddick, should not be trading on their behalf by using an account with their name on it, CommSec told Witness A, according to the affidavit.
The husband and wife decided not to transfer money to Ms Caddick and last had contact with her on October 19, 2019.
On September 8 this year, following a tip-off from another concerned investor, ASIC began an investigation into Ms Caddick and her business Maliver Pty Ltd.
Seven days later, Ms Caddick signed over her power of attorney to her brother, Adam Grimley.
Mr Grimley is not accused of any wrongdoing or of knowing anything about these matters.
Then on November 12, after the AFP raided her home, she vanished.
Initially her husband and son assumed she had left early that morning to go for a run but unusually left her phone and wallet behind.
Police are still investigating the disappearance of Ms Caddick, as well as the disappearance of the money.
Originally published as Woman who was too smart for Melissa Caddick