Battle over Caddick’s property takes a turn
The legal stoush between the parents of Melissa Caddick and her defrauded investors could be headed towards a resolution, the Federal Court has been told.
On Friday, the missing conwoman’s parents Ted and Barbara Grimley proposed to end legal action over a multimillion dollar Sydney property in exchange for an undisclosed amount.
The couple previously argued they should be allowed to continue living in an apartment in Edgecliff bought by their daughter after claiming they had paid more than $1m in contributions.
The claim had sparked a fiery battle with Caddick’s conned investors, who believe they are entitled to all funds recovered by the receivers of Caddick’s property.
The fraudulent financial adviser was accused of misappropriating more than $23m in investor funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle complete with luxury cars and designer clothes.
She vanished in November 2020, the day after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission raided her Dover Heights home.
Her parents were not involved in her fraud and are not accused of any wrongdoing.
The lawyer representing Caddick’s court-appointed receivers, Vanessa Whittaker SC, said the offer was the best case scenario for Caddick’s scammed investors.
She argued the cost of legal fees meant they would not receive a “materially better return” if the court ruled in their favour.
Ms Whittaker told the court the receivers would make interested parties aware of the offer and would hold meetings with investors to address their concerns.
The court heard written objections from investors will have to be filed with the Federal Court by May 24 to be considered.
Ms Whittaker reassured the court that her clients were “comfortable” with providing the investors as much time as possible to assess the offer.
The lawyer for Caddick’s parents, Robert Newlinds SC, told the court his clients were supportive of ending the ongoing dispute.
“Of course we think it’s a good idea,” he said.
“We support it.”
Mr Newlinds told the court that accepting the offer would not prevent investors from pursuing private legal action against the couple.
“Any one who feels they have the right to sue Mr and Mrs Grimley, they should feel free to do so,” he declared.
The court heard a claim by Caddick’s husband Anthony Koletti over his wife’s property, including valuable jewellery he claims was a gift, will be heard at a later date.
Ms Whittaker explained the receivers were “taking as many steps as possible behind the scenes” in relation to the claim.
Caddick was declared dead four months after her disappearance when a decaying foot was found on a beach 400km south of Sydney in February 2021.
A coronial inquest seeking to uncover the cause and manner of her presumed death heard the conwoman’s death is likely to remain unknown.
The coroner’s findings are expected to be handed down later this month.