“Ponzi scheme mastermind” Melissa Caddick is likely dead but uncertainty about when that occurred is causing issues for scammed investors trying to recoup lost funds, a court has been told.

The self-styled financial adviser went missing in November 2020 after the corporate regulator sought to freeze her assets and wind up her company Maliver.

The 49-year-old Sydney woman is accused of faking documents to swindle more than $30 million in funds, including those invested by trusting family and close friends.

She returned $8.5 million, but liabilities now outweigh assets by between $15 million and $23.7 million, the Federal Court has been told.

“Our submission is it is plain that Ms Caddick formed and used Maliver as a vehicle to perpetrate quite an elaborate fraud,” Farid Assaf SC, for corporate regulator ASIC, said on Wednesday.

“(Maliver was used) to disguise the fraudulent Ponzi scheme of which she was the mastermind.”

ASIC says the “quite exceptional facts”…

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