It started in a dentist's waiting room.
On August 13, 2020, a client of Melissa Caddick's started talking with a fellow patient. By chance, their conversation turns to investments, and the other woman mentions a woman called Melissa Caddick is using her Financial Services Licence without her permission. She says she has reported her to the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The woman sitting there, listening to the details of alleged fraud, had recently invested $2.5 million with Melissa Caddick.
Investigative journalist Kate McClymont tells Mamamia's daily news podcast 'The Quicky,' the woman had met Caddick on a skiing trip in Aspen in January, 2020.
"She finds out that she's a financial adviser. Melissa Caddick says, 'I'd love to look after your money, but I'm too busy. I'll have to wait until a space becomes available.' This is exactly what the world's biggest Ponzi scheme operator, Bernie Madoff, did - was make yourself look exclusive," McClymont explains.
When they got back to Sydney, Caddick offered the woman a place. The woman joined, initially giving her $1 million to invest and then another $1.5 million after seeing how well her investments were ostensibly doing.