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The Biggest Crime Cases Of 2023

Fraudster Melissa Caddick

Melissa Caddick, a self-styled financial adviser, swindled $30 million from family and friends through an investment scam, leading to a life of opulence. 

Her husband, Anthony Koletti, relinquished ownership claims over luxury goods purchased by the late fraudster as receivers sought to recoup millions owed to conned investors.

Koletti’s withdrawal from claims, including a Breitling watch and Canturi ring, signals a legal shift. The receivers, Jones Partners, opted to hand Koletti items worth “a few thousand dollars” to save time and legal costs. 

Meanwhile, assets, including real estate and artwork, were being auctioned to refund victims. Defrauded investors also launched a class action against auditors.

Former Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Principal Found Guilty Of Sexual Abuse

Malka Leifer, a former ultra-Orthodox Jewish principal, was found guilty of 18 sexual abuse offences against two former students in Melbourne. 

The jury in the Victorian county court handed down mixed verdicts on Monday, convicting the 56-year-old of offences against students Dassi Erlich and Elly Sapper while acquitting her of charges related to another student, Nicole Meyer. 

Leifer, who served as the principal at Adass Israel School, allegedly abused the sisters between 2003 and 2007. 

The victims, present in court for the verdicts, accused Leifer of misconduct during school camps, private lessons, and at Leifer’s home.

Kathleen Folbigg Acquitted Of All Murder And Manslaughter Charges After Two Decades In Jail

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Kathleen Folbigg has been acquitted of all murder and manslaughter charges by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, following her release from prison in June after spending over two decades behind bars. 

The unconditional pardon came after a recent inquiry highlighted reasonable doubt about her guilt, supported by a substantial body of new scientific evidence. 

The court agreed that Folbigg’s diary entries, controversially used during her trial, did not contain reliable admissions of guilt. Folbigg expressed relief and criticised a system that had blamed her for her children’s sudden deaths. Folbigg’s legal team considered the possibility of seeking compensation from the state. 

Christopher Dawson Found Guilty Following True Crime Podcast Probe

In a significant development, the New South Wales supreme court pronounced Christopher Dawson, 74, guilty of the 1982 murder of his wife, Lynette Dawson. 

The verdict comes after the explosive success of the true-crime podcast, “The Teacher’s Pet”, which unearthed the mysteries surrounding Lynette’s disappearance. 

Dawson, a former teacher, maintained his innocence throughout the trial. Despite Lynette’s body never being found, prosecutors argued that Dawson’s motive was to pursue an uninterrupted relationship with a teenage student. 

The podcast, downloaded tens of millions of times, raised concerns about a fair trial, prompting a single-judge trial.  

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