ASIC drops charges against missing woman Melissa Caddick

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ASIC has dropped all 38 charges it was pursuing against missing woman and self-proclaimed financial adviser Melissa Caddick.

The regulator was pursuing criminal charges against Caddick, who has been missing since November last year.

The charges included 19 counts of pretending to have a financial services licence and 18 counts of dishonest conduct in relation to financial products or services.

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Caddick was also charged with not holding an Australian financial services licence when she was required to.

On March 30 at Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney, ASIC withdrew all these charges.

The news comes after police confirmed that a running shoe containing human remains found washed up on Bournda Beach in NSW had been forensically identified as belonging to Caddick.

The 49-year-old wife and mother was last seen at her Dover Heights home during the evening of Wednesday 11 November 2020.

Police have since presumed Caddick dead and investigations in the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are ongoing.

ASIC had found evidence that Caddick was misappropriating investor funds through her company Maliver and was posing as a financial adviser even though she did not have an AFSL.

The day Caddick went missing, ASIC raided her home to search for evidence.

ASIC clarified that it had to withdraw the charges against Caddick, as a matter of law, to enable the civil proceedings to go ahead.

However, the regulator reserves its rights to reinstate the charges at a later stage.

According to the affidavit, ASIC considers that it is in the best interests of Maliver investors who lost significant sums of money to resolve civil proceedings as quickly as possibly so that they can receive funds from the winding up of the company.

Meanwhile, it acknowledged that resolution of the circumstances of Caddick's disappearance are unlikely to be resolved for some time.

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Elizabeth McArthur is a senior journalist at Financial Standard covering wealth management including financial advice. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from UTS and a master's in creative writing from Melbourne University.