Missing millionaire’s toy boy husband ‘in denial’
The husband of missing Sydney businesswoman Melissa Caddick checks his mobile phone over and over again with the dwindling hope he will find a message from the woman who obsessively chased him around the world after they met on a Mediterranean cruise.
But Anthony Koletti is "in denial" say family members who worry the accused con woman exerts too much power over her husband, 10 years her junior, and has him fooled.
Mr Koletti's unshakeable belief in the innocence of the runaway financial adviser, suspected of siphoning friends' investments to fund an extravagant life, has led him to consider taking legal action against corporate regulator ASIC, who raided the couple's Dover Heights mansion just hours before she vanished.
Australian Federal Police assisted ASIC in their raid on the $7m home on November 11, seizing computers, files, about $1m in couture gowns, designer clothes, handbags, shoes and jewellery - all of which Ms Caddick is alleged to have bought using funds she misappropriated from her clients.
SEARCH FOR FUGITIVE
"Anthony is deluded and thinks Melissa has done nothing wrong," his father tax agent Rodo Koletti said. "He says he is looking at court action against ASIC for wrongly taking away her belongings.
"It's very traumatic for him, he stopped seeing his family when they got together, it's divided us.
"I've seen her four or five times in eight years, she didn't want anything to do with us.
"Anthony won't talk to us, he thinks his phone is bugged, Melissa's parents are his family now.
"His mum is worried sick for her boy. I just feel sorry for the people she is accused of stealing from, that's their lives' savings."
The Daily Telegraph revealed this week detectives widened the net in the search for Ms Caddick, 49, working on the theory she fled the night officers raided her home on November 11, not the following morning at 5.30am as previously thought.
Officers believe she is "very much still alive" and are probing the growing possibility she is on the run in Queensland.
Mr Koletti was the last to see her the night ASIC and the AFP left her home when, shaken, she voiced to him her concerns they were investigating a tip she was operating her Maliver Pty Ltd firm without a licence.
BLINDED BY LOVE
"Anthony is in denial, he loves Melissa," his uncle Arthur Koletti told The Daily Telegraph.
"We haven't seen him much since they got together eight years ago. I've met her twice, she's stuck up.
"She wanted Anthony badly. She's a few years older, she chased him around; he's a house husband, he writes music, she wanted a young toyboy and got him," he said from his house in the St George area of Sydney.
"They met on a cruise when Anthony was a hairdresser at the hair and beauty salon, when he finished he went to England and she went back to Sydney but she later followed him to England and back to Australia … He must have hidden talents!
"He wouldn't have known how she ran her business, or what she was up to."
Ms Caddick, who's teenage son is still living at the family home with Mr Koletti, has not delved into her bank accounts or contacted family and friends since she walked out on November 11.
The regulator began investigating Ms Caddick in early September after another financial adviser reported that she had been using her financial services licence without permission and had been running an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
OUR FRIEND ROBBED US
The Federal Court has heard Ms Caddick was involved in "serious misconduct ... in connection with the misappropriation of consumer funds."
Police commissioner Mick Fuller said Ms Caddick's potential frauds were "perhaps in the tens of millions of dollars."
Financial records state from January 1, 2018 until September 18, 2020 a total of $20.279 million was deposited into her accounts and she has since withdrawn all but $700,000.
Ms Caddick is accused of providing more than 60 clients with fraudulent Commsec returns showing healthy profits from share trades that did not exist.
One couple, who had invested and asked not to be named, say they asked Ms Caddick to produce her financial credentials and were handed a doctored resume and handbook detailing the services she provided.
"What hurts is she invited you into her home, you feel part of her life, most of us were her friends, so already we trusted her," the Sydney investor said.
"My partner and I each invested $50,000 a year thinking we had our retirement sorted.
"All the time Melissa would look us straight in the eye, laugh with us, invite us for dinner and eat with us when she was robbing us."
Mr Koletti has refused requests for interviews.
Anyone with information about Melissa Caddick's whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.
Originally published as Missing millionaire's toy boy husband 'in denial'