The New South Wales coroner found the death of alleged Sydney fraudster Melissa Cadick, but said it was impossible to conclude how or where she died. .
The 49-year-old has not been seen since November 2020, shortly after her home in Dover Heights, east of Sydney, was raided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the business watchdog.
ASIC is investigating an allegation of a Ponzi scheme run by Ms. Cadick, and we’ve heard that an autopsy into her alleged death has cost investors between $20 million and $30 million.
When her home was searched, authorities suspected she had stolen more than $23 million.
Three months after his disappearance, a rotting foot washed ashore on the south coast of NSW, and although DNA tests matched Mr Cadick’s, an autopsy could not determine a cause of death.
Deputy Coroner Elizabeth Ryan today concluded that Cadick died, but said there were still “questions” as to when, where and how he died.
An autopsy, which took place over several weeks, heard evidence from experts, including an oceanographer, examining whether her body first entered the water on a cliff near her home.
Judge Ryan said it was “certainly” possible that Caddick died by suicide in that manner, but that no further findings were possible.
“Finding that a particular scenario is plausible is not the same as accepting that scenario on the basis of reasonable satisfaction,” she said.
“I have concluded that it is not probable that Mr. Cadick died after falling off a cliff near his home with the intention of committing suicide.”
Judge Ryan said there were no credible sightings or CCTV footage of Caddick in any coastal area, and the medical evidence for a fall from height was “neutral.”
Cadick’s husband, Anthony Colletti, while presenting evidence at an autopsy inquest last year, claimed to have last seen her and denied her knowledge of the Ponzi scheme, nearly 30 hours after her whereabouts. reported unknown.
But he said after hearing the trial after his wife’s disappearance, he concluded that she was a “cheater” and denied helping her disappear.
Judge Ryan said today that it was “remarkable” that all police officers who had some significant interaction with Ms. Coletti had covered it up, even though they suspected that Ms. Coletti was aware of her movements. ‘ said.
She said his evidence at the inquest was riddled with contradictions and confusion, and when he didn’t produce further discrepancies he was trying to explain them with “opaque and sometimes incomprehensible explanations.” .
“The unavoidable conclusion I have reached is that throughout the investigation and autopsy, Mr. Coletti has, at times, chosen to make completely false statements,” Judge Ryan said.
This raised the question why the coroner was reluctant to give a “candid account” of what had happened in the 30 hours before reporting her missing, the coroner said.
“Between November 11-13, 2020, he concluded that he had some awareness of Ms. Cadick’s movements over the past two days, but chose not to make it public.”
Judge Ryan concluded that Mr. Coletti failed to give the court a full and candid account of what happened.
Judge Ryan also made his observations about the adequacy of the police investigation after the coroner heard that the first officer in charge of the investigation did not immediately refer the case to the homicide squad because he determined she was not harmed. showed that.
“Considering all the evidence, we concluded that it was premature to rule out this possibility,” she said.
Judge Ryan said the failure risked losing information that may have shaped the direction of the investigation, but he can only speculate whether the information was helpful.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-25/melissa-caddick-nsw-coroner-rules-fraudster-is-dead/102390386 Melissa Cadick, central figure in Sydney ‘cheater’ $23 million heist who held funeral two years ago, officially dead