Investors handed over more than $13 million to a Sydney businesswoman before she vanished amid an investigation into her financial services company, a court has heard.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had been investigating her company, Maliver, over allegations it was operating without a licence.
The corporate watchdog has applied for orders in the Federal Court of Australia to appoint a provisional liquidator to the company.
ASIC’s barrister Stephanie Fendekian today said many “unsurprisingly distressed consumers” had contacted the watchdog with information and documents upon learning of Ms Caddick’s disappearance.
“They have invested approximately $13.1 million with the defendant and the majority have not received any funds back to date,” Ms Fendekian told a hearing in Sydney.
ASIC has previously been granted a court order freezing Ms Caddick’s assets.
The orders also limit how much Ms Caddick’s family can access for cost-of-living expenses, including for her husband to take care of their son.
The family has sought an increase to the weekly limit of $800.
Ms Fendekian said affidavits originally estimated their expenses to be “a staggering $4880 a week, without any real explanation or further evidence”, but the request had been lowered significantly.
It included the costs of maintaining insurance.
Barrister David Sulan, acting for Ms Caddick’s brother Adam Grimley, said the higher estimate was given by his client with limited information and at a time when it was unclear whether receivers would be appointed.
He said it included mortgage expenses on an Edgecliff property and needed to be “properly qualified”.
The court was also asked to vary the freezing orders to accommodate a $66,000 legal bill.
Ms Fendekian stressed the need to protect the interests of investors and said there was “a vacuum at the helm of the company”, with nobody managing its affairs.
The court heard updated information from financial institutions revealed approximately $4 million sits in various bank accounts held by Ms Caddick or her company.
It was also revealed that during raids of her home on November 11 – a day before her disappearance – the items seized included jewellery, designer label clothing and footwear.
ASIC’s investigation began in early September, more than two months before the 49-year-old left her Dover Heights home without her keys and phone.
Maliver has been unrepresented during the proceedings, but Mr Grimley has represented Ms Caddick’s interests via a power of attorney.
Ms Fendekian said Mr Grimley appeared to have no knowledge of the allegations made by ASIC.
The hearing, before Justice Brigitte Markovic, continues.