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Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 08.01.16 20:30

@Enid O'Dowd wrote:The Fund – Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2015
The accounts were approved on 18 December 2015 and signed by director Michael Linnett (retired accountant) on behalf of the Board. The accounts were then passed to the auditors who filed them at Companies House on 23 December 2015; the accounts became available to the public on 8 January. As in previous years, the accounts were filed close to the legal deadline.


This time the company has availed of a legal exemption for small companies enabling it to provide considerably less information than before.


The accounts filed consist of 4 pages:


1 .A cover page with an error spelling ‘abbreviated accounts’ as ‘abbreivated accounts’
2. Auditors’ Report
3. Balance Sheet
4. Notes to the Balance Sheet


From these accounts I have no idea what the actual income and expenditure was in the year. I don’t even know what the audit fee was or how many board meetings were held.


Due to the lack of information in these accounts I cannot update my spreadsheet of income and expenditure over the years since the company was incorporated in 2007. 


At the end of the year there was £763,772 in the bank, just under £2,000 less than at 31 March 2014. Whether this indicates a lack of financial activity in the year I have no way of knowing.


What has money been spent on during this year?


According the official website there is:


‘The 24-hour ‘hotline’ for people to call with information is still functioning on 0845 838 4699 for people who would prefer to contact us directly’


And there is a team in place comprising ‘a campaign coordinator and translators/interpreters, the team has several individuals with invaluable marketing, advertising and I.T. skills who help with the general campaign to find Madeleine.’

On another page of the official website it states ‘An experienced Fund Administrator has been appointed to ensure the highest standards of transparency and accountability.’

'7) What is the money being spent on?
The majority of the fund money has been and continues to be spent on investigative work to help find Madeleine. Additionally money continues to be spent on the wider 'Awareness Campaign' – reminding people that Madeleine is still missing and to remain vigilant. None of the directors have taken any money from the fund as remuneration.
Anyone who wishes further information with regards to the financial details of Madeleine's Fund and its professional advisors, please refer to the accounts filed at Companies House. Crown Way Maindy Cardiff CF14 3UZ.’

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how much money was spent in this year as claimed above?


What income came in during the year?

I haven’t a clue!

The audited accounts have never been placed on the website. It would cost nothing to do this. The public is referred to Companies House!
Dr Kate McCann stated in her book madeleine published in 2011 that:

‘from the outset everyone agreed that, despite the costs involved, it (the Fund) must be run to the highest standards of transparency.’

In my opinion the Fund never met ‘the highest standards of transparency.’

Has the Board now decided that the Fund should be as untransparent as it is legally possible to be? It would appear so.
That was quick - thank you!  Companies House must be making more profit by this than the 'official fund' - I doubt if the financial status of any other small time company has attracted so much attention.

Maybe this is just a veiled attempt to cover total inertia, they haven't the face to admit that they have reached a dead-end.   It seems Operation Grange is to be discontinued in the near future, there must be a limit to the length of time this isolated case can continue to make the headlines - with or without a spin-doctor.  I would be very surprised to learn that people are still donating to this Fund, seemingly they lost the support of all those wealthy benefactors they attracted in the early days so what's left?  A vacuum that will only result in extreme embarrassment if the McCanns and the Fund administrators reveal that they can no longer maintain the facade of previous years.

They've made their public announcement via the UK press about continuation of 'the search' once Operation Grange is closed, they have this floating  sum of x £k to finance their own private search/investigation so game over.  I have a gut feeling that the McCanns, in the very near future, will quietly disappear off the stage in the hope that the pesky interfering public will also disappear.  I really can't see any other way forward for them.  They might get the odd mention on anniversary dates by one of their dyed in the wool appendages but other than that, I believe the general public are thoroughly sick of the name McCann - they monitor internet activity, they must now realise where they stand in regard to public opinion.

____________________
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Doug D on 09.01.16 7:38

I wonder whether the stories of them spending the £750k ‘of their own money’ (?) continuing the search is pre-empting the creaming off of the remaining funds from the account?
 
Pinky story around the time of next years (might have to be the year after) accounts maybe:
 
‘The last £750k? It all went on the search, so we have closed the fund down now” or something to that effect?
 
I’m sure Tracey K. would oblige. I could even write it for her to save her the trouble.
   
With accounts like these they can do what the hell they like.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by worriedmum on 09.01.16 14:39

DougD
''I’m sure Tracey K. would oblige. I could even write it for her to save her the trouble.''

Mrs lol rotfl

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Enid O'Dowd on 09.01.16 19:09

Madeleine's Fund
Audited accounts from commencement 
Total31.3.201531.3.201431.3.201331.3.201231.3.201131.3.201031.3.200931.3.2008
 
Income
4,233,899
?
421,264
70,250
856,393
177,534
233,099
629,181
1,846,178
Interest receivable
56,213
?
258
323
149
101
373
21,585
33,424
4,290,112
?
421,522
70,573
856,542
177,635
233,472
650,766
1,879,602
 
Merchandise/Campaign Costs
3,212,141
?
63,638
115,109
476,813
487,193
421,236
974,786
673,366
Admin. Expenses
299,234
?
21,005
23,910
24,909
26,930
29,868
30,865
141,747
3,511,375
?
84,643
139,019
501,722
514,123
451,104
1,005,651
815,113
 
Oper. Surplus/Deficit
778,737
?
336,879
-68,446
354,820
-336,488
-217,632
-354,885
1,064,489
 
Taxation
-25,681
?
0
9,756
-5,128
-8,371
-2,598
-6,878
-12,462
 
Surplus/deficit for  year
753,056
?
336,879
-58,690
349,692
-344,859
-220,230
-361,763
1,052,027
   
Audit
50,085
?
5,900
6,300
6,300
6,300
6,169
5,750
13,366
Balance Sheets
Cash at bank
763,772
765,363
441,169
528,267
173,321
516,968
719,723
572,344
Debtors
0
0
4,523
1,778
4,760
3,718
19,795
585,369
Creditors
17,620
12,307
29,515
55,178
52,906
50,652
49,254
105,686
746,152
753,056
416,177
474,867
125,175
470,034
690,264
1,052,027
Unrestricted Funds
185,507
174,966
197,240
158,953
0
0
0
0
Restricted Funds
560,645
578,090
218,937
315,914
0
0
0
0
Accumulated Reserves 
470,034
690,264
1,052,027
0
Income and Expenditure Account
-344,859
-220,230
-361,763
1,052,027
746,152
753,056
416,177
474,867
125,175
470,034
690,264
1,052,027
 
Note 2Note 1
Note 1: The debtors figure includes £563,152 for donations committed but not received at 31.3.2008
Note 2:  There was a change of accounting policy in 2012; money available was divided as restricted and unrestricted funds
 
I have updated my existing spreadsheet so that at least the balance sheets for each year can be compared.


DougD posted earlier the requirements to qualify as a small company which means you can file very limited information at Companies House. From the spreadsheet it appears that the Fund would have qualified for small company status from incorporation and could therefore have availed of the limited filing requirements. Why has the Fund only availed of this now?


Extract from the website of haysmcintyre auditors to the Fund:


'We’re proud to have been voted in the top three firms for the last eight years for 'overall service' and 'charity expertise' in theCharity Finance Audit Survey and in 2014 we were voted winner for 'charity expertise'.

We are active members of the CFG (Charity Finance Group), ISBA (Independent Schools Bursars' Association), AGBIS (Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools) and CIAN (Charities Internal Audit Network) and our team regularly speak at conferences, run events and training seminars and compile thought leadership pieces and benchmarking reports. We are also listed as one of the leading advisers to the Top 3,000 charities in the UK. '


I would love to know what the auditors, who obviously have great experience in the charity and non for profit sector, said when the board of the Fund requested that they file the minimum information required by law?  Did they advise that as a 'not for profit' organisation looking for donations from the public the Fund should be open and transparent and file more detailed accounts as this would surely benefit the company?

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Author of Fateful Decisions: there's a fine line between acceptable parenting and neglect.   www.enidodowd.com
Author of A Review of the background to setting up the limited company Madeleine's Fund: leaving no Stone Unturned and a forensic examination of the company accounts. Available on www.mccannfiles.com

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 09.01.16 23:03

@Enid O'Dowd wrote:
Madeleine's Fund
Audited accounts from commencement 
Total31.3.201531.3.201431.3.201331.3.201231.3.201131.3.201031.3.200931.3.2008
 
Income
4,233,899
?
421,264
70,250
856,393
177,534
233,099
629,181
1,846,178
Interest receivable
56,213
?
258
323
149
101
373
21,585
33,424
4,290,112
?
421,522
70,573
856,542
177,635
233,472
650,766
1,879,602
 
Merchandise/Campaign Costs
3,212,141
?
63,638
115,109
476,813
487,193
421,236
974,786
673,366
Admin. Expenses
299,234
?
21,005
23,910
24,909
26,930
29,868
30,865
141,747
3,511,375
?
84,643
139,019
501,722
514,123
451,104
1,005,651
815,113
 
Oper. Surplus/Deficit
778,737
?
336,879
-68,446
354,820
-336,488
-217,632
-354,885
1,064,489
 
Taxation
-25,681
?
0
9,756
-5,128
-8,371
-2,598
-6,878
-12,462
 
Surplus/deficit for  year
753,056
?
336,879
-58,690
349,692
-344,859
-220,230
-361,763
1,052,027
   
Audit
50,085
?
5,900
6,300
6,300
6,300
6,169
5,750
13,366
Balance Sheets
Cash at bank
763,772
765,363
441,169
528,267
173,321
516,968
719,723
572,344
Debtors
0
0
4,523
1,778
4,760
3,718
19,795
585,369
Creditors
17,620
12,307
29,515
55,178
52,906
50,652
49,254
105,686
746,152
753,056
416,177
474,867
125,175
470,034
690,264
1,052,027
Unrestricted Funds
185,507
174,966
197,240
158,953
0
0
0
0
Restricted Funds
560,645
578,090
218,937
315,914
0
0
0
0
Accumulated Reserves 
470,034
690,264
1,052,027
0
Income and Expenditure Account
-344,859
-220,230
-361,763
1,052,027
746,152
753,056
416,177
474,867
125,175
470,034
690,264
1,052,027
 
Note 2Note 1
Note 1: The debtors figure includes £563,152 for donations committed but not received at 31.3.2008
Note 2:  There was a change of accounting policy in 2012; money available was divided as restricted and unrestricted funds
 
I have updated my existing spreadsheet so that at least the balance sheets for each year can be compared.


DougD posted earlier the requirements to qualify as a small company which means you can file very limited information at Companies House. From the spreadsheet it appears that the Fund would have qualified for small company status from incorporation and could therefore have availed of the limited filing requirements. Why has the Fund only availed of this now?


Extract from the website of haysmcintyre auditors to the Fund:


'We’re proud to have been voted in the top three firms for the last eight years for 'overall service' and 'charity expertise' in theCharity Finance Audit Survey and in 2014 we were voted winner for 'charity expertise'.

We are active members of the CFG (Charity Finance Group), ISBA (Independent Schools Bursars' Association), AGBIS (Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools) and CIAN (Charities Internal Audit Network) and our team regularly speak at conferences, run events and training seminars and compile thought leadership pieces and benchmarking reports. We are also listed as one of the leading advisers to the Top 3,000 charities in the UK. '


I would love to know what the auditors, who obviously have great experience in the charity and non for profit sector, said when the board of the Fund requested that they file the minimum information required by law?  Did they advise that as a 'not for profit' organisation looking for donations from the public the Fund should be open and transparent and file more detailed accounts as this would surely benefit the company?
Thank you for taking the trouble to summarize.  It reads like a very encouraging prologue year 2007 and an abysmal epilogue year 2015, with the intervening years jogging along on an even keel (excluding year ending 31.3.2013 which appears to have have been an all round annus horribilis for some reason - Operation Grange perhaps?).

Bearing in mind the date for filing accounts in any one financial year is the end of December, roughly how long before this would the auditors prepare an audit - November say?  The reason I ask is because the year ending 31.3.2008  identifies a whopping £673,366 on merchandise/campaign costs which to me,  being generous, for a notional period of approximately seven months (May - November) appears somewhat excessive considering the PJ investigation was active until the summer of 2008.  If I remember rightly, Kate McCann said at some stage (the book 'madeleine' I think) that they didn't do very much in the way of a private search (?) until after they returned to the UK having been designated arguidos in September 2007.

IMO they can't (or rather shouldn't) try to justify the European tour as part of their campaign because it was essentially a publicity stunt so was no advantage to their missing daughter, I'm not even sure that was financed by the Fund - seems it was a UK government initiative with the help of a few of their wealthy benefactors.
 
I'm also interested to learn why the McCanns, or any of their advisors, didn't pursue charity status.  This route would have given the Fund so many advantages over and above a limited company - except the need for greater transparency?  Think I've just answered my own question..

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Enid O'Dowd on 10.01.16 0:08

Verdi, to address the issues you raise:
 
Auditors cannot audit the accounts until after the end of the accounting period, which in the case of the Fund is March 31. Any company that wanted to be open and transparent would have its accounts audited as soon as possible after the year end and then filed promptly in Companies House.
 
The Fund has always filed very close to the latest legal date which is nine months after the accounting year end.
 
The merchandising costs to which you refer relate to the period from 15 May 2007 (date company incorporated) to 31 March 2008 and not to May 2007 to November 2007.
 

Regarding charity status, the official line is that the company did not meet the criteria for charity status as it was only concerned with one child rather than with missing children in general.  In my first report into the Fund published on www.mccannfiles.com I described how I had obtained documents under the FOI Act  from the Charity Commission which led me to conclude that charity status was not a priority for the McCanns, and that some limited tweaking of the company documentation submitted to the Charity Commission would have resulted in charity status being granted. As you say Verdi, charity status involves a legal obligation for transparency, which is not something evidenced in the filed accounts despite the commitment given in the book madeleine.

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Author of A Review of the background to setting up the limited company Madeleine's Fund: leaving no Stone Unturned and a forensic examination of the company accounts. Available on www.mccannfiles.com

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 10.01.16 0:44

@Enid O'Dowd wrote:Verdi, to address the issues you raise:
 
Auditors cannot audit the accounts until after the end of the accounting period, which in the case of the Fund is March 31. Any company that wanted to be open and transparent would have its accounts audited as soon as possible after the year end and then filed promptly in Companies House.
 
The Fund has always filed very close to the latest legal date which is nine months after the accounting year end.
 
The merchandising costs to which you refer relate to the period from 15 May 2007 (date company incorporated) to 31 March 2008 and not to May 2007 to November 2007.
 

Regarding charity status, the official line is that the company did not meet the criteria for charity status as it was only concerned with one child rather than with missing children in general.  In my first report into the Fund published on www.mccannfiles.com I described how I had obtained documents under the FOI Act  from the Charity Commission which led me to conclude that charity status was not a priority for the McCanns, and that some limited tweaking of the company documentation submitted to the Charity Commission would have resulted in charity status being granted. As you say Verdi, charity status involves a legal obligation for transparency, which is not something evidenced in the filed accounts despite the commitment given in the book madeleine.
Thanks for the swift reply.  Clearly I'm confused, it's late so I'll read your first report again in due course, hopefully when more alert.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Doug D on 10.01.16 10:31

Lazz’s take on the accounts:
 
http://l-azzeri-lies-in-the-sun.com/Now_You_See_It_Now_You.html
 
[size=35]Now You See It, Now You..[/size]
 
The Find Madeleine Fund - A Kinda Magic?
 
Finding missing Madeleine McCann - is one of the objectives of the above fund, which is run by her parents and their buddies, NO, not their holiday buddies, the Tapas 9 Team - that OTHER lot of buddies, who together with Kate McCann and Gerry McCann, make up the  - Transparency 6 Team!
 
(Hell, McCanns have/have had loads of teams.  
 
  Teams of dodgy private detectives.
  Teams of lawyers in UK
  Team of lawyers in Portugal
  Team of accountants
  Teams of press agency personnel.
  Team Clarence Mitchell, one of a number of spokespersons they have had on board their TEAM since Madeleine vanished.
  Team of holiday buddies
  Team of directors on Find Madeleine Fund
  Team of buddies at Murdoch's Sky - old Brunty to name but one. 
  Team of columnists who they can rely on to print untruths in press re missing Madeleine.
  Team of silly sofa queens who fail Madeleine, by never posing her parents a pertinent question.
  Team for Website (team Kate?)
  Team Gamble
  Team Translators/Interpreters
  Team campaign Management
  Teams who monitor the internet
  Team, Team. 
 
Yip all of the above and more, make up the MONSTER OF A MACHINE that is Team Team (McCann)
 
And of course there is the Metropolitan Police Team, The Portuguese Police Team - and no one knows for sure if these two teams are playing against one another or as one team.
 
Today, the spotlight is on the Find Madeleine Transparency 6 Team, as they are responsible for the regulation of the Fund, and it seems they have aspirations too. 
 
Despite the Madeleine Fund not being a registered charity they do, they tell us, ASPIRE to follow best practices and processes used by charities. 
 
Is that like being a pretendy charity?
 
If they are not registered as a charity, then they ARE NOT A CHARITY. END OFF!  
 
So why in hell do they use such terminology, that they have ASPIRATIONS, as in ambitions, hopes, goals to operate their Fund following the best practices and processes of a charity?
 
Why mention 'charity' at all if their Fund is not one?
 
Surely to simply use best business practices, and accounting processes, and to state such, would be sufficient, not need to mention 'charity!'
 
Whether their aspirations are achieved is extremely difficult for the public to tell.
 
Difficult to tell as the Transparency 6 Team... well, they hide their light under a bushel, or to put it another way, they don't live up to their name, as they hide their aspirations and achievements behind a legal exemption, which allows them to tell the public pretty much, Sweet Fanny Adams, about their achievements regarding the income and expenditure of Madeleine's money!
 
As the Year End March 2015 accounts became available at the end of December 2015, quelle surprise, who would have thought that they could achieve what they have -  they managed this year to send, Sweet FA into the red!
 
Yip, 'minus Sweet Fanny Adams' is all that Team McCann feel the good people who donated to that Find Madeleine Fund are worthy of.
 
In a recent blog I did - 'Only £couple thousand'  (above) I made following comment:
 
'It would serve the McCanns well to produce a full and detailed set of accounts for public consumption.   When you ask the public for money, it is only right morally so, to act with honesty, integrity and transparency, to produce full and detailed accounts and not produce only that which one is obliged to by law.
 
Only then, will those who donated be able to see exactly for what purpose the monies have been used, and only then will they be able to see at what point (s) this Fund had ONLY £couple thousand! ' 
 
Transparency Team clearly don't agree!
 
What we can see from the little that is available this year is that the closing balance on the Find Madeleine Fund, Financial Year End March 2015 is - £763,772 (in black)
 
As Team McCann are not paying for any private search at the present time (they stopped paying for a private search for their daughter a little time after the Metropolitan Police Investigation began, which was over 4 years ago) safe to say that SINCE March 2015 they have not spent too much, and that the above balance would be much the same now, as it was then, unless any huge expenditure had taken place, or any huge sum had been received as income.
 
Funnily enough, very recently Clarence Mitchell announced in press that the McCanns transferred £750K (of their own money ? ) to the Find Madeleine Fund, (set it aside for this purpose the article said) so on that basis, and logically, the Fund must be looking pretty darn healthy at this moment in time.   Around £1m and half!   Wow lots of money to spend on Madeleine then!
 
Well, healthy, IF we believe the story of the transference of the £750K, and just half as healthy if we don't.
 
But here's the rub.
 
WHY the urgency to transfer this £750K of (their own money ?) when there has been NO FORMAL date given for the Met Investigation to close, and no private detectives hired as yet to search for Madeleine?
 
Fund was sitting pretty, according to their Year End March 2015, plenty there to make any initial payments to say, a private investigator for instance, so why urgency to transfer, or at lease make a huge statement in the press that they had?
 
(The press, I must add, reported in reference to the McCanns transferring that money, that the McCanns were launching a new private search for Madeleine with the REMAINING £750K in the Fund? The implication was that this £750 K transferred, was all that was remaining?)
 
And so, it brings us back to all the questions which were asked at the time Clarence Mitchell spun the story in the press about this supposed transfer.  The biggie being:
 
  Why was the money NOT ALREADY in the Madeleine Fund, as any, and all monies, raised from book sales, public donations, and all else, according to the McCanns would go into the Fund and every last penny spent on finding the child?
 
If this had happened then there would have been no need for any transfer.
 
Why were funds being moved around?
Were funds being moved around?
Why is there nothing on their Fund Website to indicate that such a practice would operate?
 
Public I would think, believed as Gerry McCann stated, that all monies would go to a search for Madeleine, deposited in Find Madeleine Fund, bank account.   One might think with news of this transferring of funds, that they are trying to fool the public.
 
I guess, they have to wait until the Year End Accounts March 2016 to discover if that balance topped more than £1m just after the time, when the claim was made in the press, by the McCann spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, that £750K (of their own money?) was transferred to the Madeleine Fund Account.
 
Then again, when the Transparency 6 Team appear to be aspiring to, and have chosen to adopt in respect of what the public get to know, the best Sweet Fanny Adams, practices and processes..?
 
But isn't it the strangest coincidence that the closing balance at March 2015, is much the same as that of the alleged transfer?  
 
How will the public ever know for sure, how the Madeleine Fund operates, which bank account their donations are deposited...
 
...and how will they ever know if the the two amounts of £750K approximately, the alleged transferred amount, and the closing balance at Year End March 2015 figure, are one and the same?
 
Did they shift the Year End Balance to another account and then shift it back, hence Mitchell's announcement..?
 
l-azzeri-lies-in-the-sun.com
   
10th January 2015

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Enid O'Dowd on 10.01.16 12:43

A very good article by L-azzeri-lies-in-the-sun.
 
Below an extract from the official website:
 
(3) Why is Madeleine's Fund not registered as a charity?
Because Madeleine's Fund is currently focussed on searching for one child only, Madeleine McCann it cannot register as a charity. However in the future, if the objects of the fund are fulfilled and subsequently changed to concentrate on multiple similar cases, it may then be possible to acquire charitable status.


(4) Can gift aid or tax relief be claimed on my donation to Madeleine's Fund?
No it cannot because these are only available to registered charities.


(5) If Madeleine's Fund isn't a charity who is regulating it?
The directors regulate Madeleine's Fund and they aspire to follow best practice policies and processes used by charities. The directors have reviewed its operation against “Good Governance: A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector”. This sets out best practice requirements for charities.
The Fund also has:

  • a Financial Procedures Manual
  • job descriptions for directors, chair and treasurer
  • clearly laid out policies and processes for:
  • payments
  • expense claims
  • risk management
  • whistle blowing
  • registering conflicts of interest

(6) Who are the directors of Madeleine's Fund?
There are six directors of the Fund. They are:

  • Brian Kennedy, a retired head teacher;
  • Edward Smethurst – A Commercial lawyer;
  • Jon Corner – Director of a media company;
  • Michael Linett- retired accountant
  • Kate McCann General Practitioner
  • Gerry McCann Consultant Cardiologist


End of extract.

The directors are the Transparency 6 Team in the article.

I think it is relevant to mention that the Fund is not a charity as there has been much confusion over this among the public.

However, one member of the Transparency 6 team, famously said ‘confusion is good.’

It is also appropriate for any ‘not for profit’ organisation as the Fund claims to be, that does not have charity status, to aim for best practice used by charities.

However, the history of the Fund does not indicate best practice, an important part of which is openness and transparency.

Donors to the Fund have been treated with utter contempt IMO.

At March 31 2015 allowing for the creditors at that date of £17,260, there was £746,152 available for the search. That’s a lot of money to have sitting in a bank account at todays very low interest rates.

It’s not believable that £750,000 would have been moved to the Fund after March 31 2015 as Clarence Mitchell would have us believe. What was the need to do that then? Why would anyone have £1,500,000 sitting in a bank account doing nothing and getting nominal interest?
 
L-azzeri asks -
Did they shift the Year End Balance to another account and then shift it back, hence Mitchell's announcement..?
 

I suspect L-azzeri may be right!

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 10.01.16 12:44

@Enid O'Dowd wrote:Verdi, to address the issues you raise:
 
Auditors cannot audit the accounts until after the end of the accounting period, which in the case of the Fund is March 31. Any company that wanted to be open and transparent would have its accounts audited as soon as possible after the year end and then filed promptly in Companies House.
 
The Fund has always filed very close to the latest legal date which is nine months after the accounting year end.
 
The merchandising costs to which you refer relate to the period from 15 May 2007 (date company incorporated) to 31 March 2008 and not to May 2007 to November 2007.
 

Regarding charity status, the official line is that the company did not meet the criteria for charity status as it was only concerned with one child rather than with missing children in general.  In my first report into the Fund published on www.mccannfiles.com I described how I had obtained documents under the FOI Act  from the Charity Commission which led me to conclude that charity status was not a priority for the McCanns, and that some limited tweaking of the company documentation submitted to the Charity Commission would have resulted in charity status being granted. As you say Verdi, charity status involves a legal obligation for transparency, which is not something evidenced in the filed accounts despite the commitment given in the book madeleine.
Good day to you Enid O'Dowd!

What a total fool I am, I'm getting dates all muddled - must take more water with it! 

It's a complete mystery to me how I ever managed to achieve a pass in maths, perhaps I misunderstood the meaning of 'pass'.  I could be excused on the grounds that it was during the bean counting age, well before Arithmicatus Abacus invented the revolutionary calculator.   

I admit accountancy skills hover around zero for me so I will leave the detail to experts such as your good self.  However, I would still be interested to know how they managed to plough their way through over £500k on merchandise/campaign costs in such a comparatively short period of time.

NB:  I recall at the time thinking there was no urgency for a fund to be established - I think they said at the time it was to accommodate all the offers of financial aid pouring in from all corners of the globe, surely the money could have been retained in a holding account at a bank until such times as an appropriate Fund was established?  They also said in the early days that in the event of their private search (the word has forever baffled me) coming to an end, any surplus would be spread across recognized charitable organisations - maybe they could have incorporated that generous offer in the Fund's constitution in such a way as to qualify for charity status?  Haven't re-read your reports yet, no doubt it's all been covered therein!

howdy

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 10.01.16 12:59

@DougD

Excellent work from l-azzeri as always!  They should have kept with Clarence Mitchell's avant-garde mode of wheeling and dealing - stick yer money in a brown envelope marked 'Kate and Gerry McCann', it'll get there!

We all know about money being handed over in plain brown envelopes, a sort of borderline illegal underhand financial transaction, frequently used in the sphere of bribery and corruption.

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Post by Enid O'Dowd on 10.01.16 13:15

@verdi

As you say there was no need for a Fund (limited company) to be set up so quickly. This was the very big rat I smelt about the saga before I even knew about all the other oddities/discrepancies etc. It is all in my first report in the mccannfiles. Over £50,000 has been spent on audit fees to March 2014 and we do not know what was spent for the latest set of accounts as even this information is no longer available. How angry would the OAPs who donated part of their pensions or the children who gave their pocket money be if they knew their money had been spent on uninformative accounts to be polite about them!  The money going into a separate bank account with a relevant person overseeing it on a voluntary basis would have sufficed until the situation became clearer.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by aquila on 10.01.16 17:17

To give some comparison, the disappearance of April Jones in UK was flooded with media attention and people who gave up their time to physically search for her. Money poured in to assist. There was no immediate 'fund/charity' malarkey. There was a simple bank account and an announcement that someone (iirc) from the community was overseeing the bank account. At this point April had not been found. It was the same for Madeleine, so why the urgency to set up a limited company or a charity?

April Jones' parents didn't want the money. They wanted April, alive and home. The money that was left over has been used for other good causes I believe. What a great example these bereft parents set and it rankles me to see Kate McCann given prominence in photoshoots standing alongside Coral Jones when promoting the work of Missing People (now there's a charity that needs imo to be looked at).

Thank you for your work Enid.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 10.01.16 20:31

This wretched word 'search' has always niggled me, mainly because there has never ever been any evidence of the McCanns 'searching' for their little lost daughter.  It was just two weeks after MBM disappeared that the Fund was launched - a fund said to be to assist a/the 'search' (that word again).  How did they know that their daughter might not turn up at any time, dead or alive.  The PJ were doing everything in their power to solve the mystery of MBM's disappearance so what the heck did the McCanns and their team think they could achieve with money?

I understand that a private investigation running conjointly with an official investigation in Portugal is illegal, the McCanns were not therefore in a position to hire private detectives to operate on Portuguese soil nor do private detectives or the McCanns have any powers as regards the law - what did the McCanns hope to independently achieve with a pot load of cash but no jurisdiction to act in Portugal.

The case of Tia Sharp was initially a community effort, she disappeared from her neighbourhood, perfectly understandable that the locals would do anything they could to help find Tia, not so with the case of Madeleine McCann - this case did not directly affect a community, at least not outside the confines of PdL.  Money at that stage was of no advantage to the McCanns in helping to locate their child, they could have turned down the offer of donations but they didn't - instead they set up some company to rake in donations from the public with no clear outline as to the true purpose of the Fund nor any transparency as to how the money was being spent.  I repeat - how could money have assisted the McCanns in May 2007 to find their lost child?

Of the top of my head I can't link to any specific instant but quite early on during the summer of 2007, the McCanns publicly admitted that Madeleine may no longer be alive but still they took money from innocent well-wishers.  Whichever way you look at this fund it is either legally or morally corrupt - not forgetting administered by family and friends.  They really do take us for a lot of mugs don't they..

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Enid O'Dowd on 10.01.16 23:33

Members may be interested to know the speed at which the company was set up.

According the the book madeleine, on Friday May 11th 2007 two men,neither of whom were named in the book, a paralegal and a barrister flew out to Portugal and had meetings with the McCanns over that weekend (may 11,12,13). These unnamed men, apparently suggested that the best way to proceed in the circumstances was to set up a limited company. 

The company was incorporated on Tuesday May 15th and formally launched with much media hype on Wednesday May 16th.

What was the reason for the incredible hurry?

How did this help missing Madeleine? I have no suggestions whatsoever.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Nina on 10.01.16 23:47

@Enid O'Dowd wrote:Members may be interested to know the speed at which the company was set up.

According the the book madeleine, on Friday May 11th 2007 two men,neither of whom were named in the book, a paralegal and a barrister flew out to Portugal and had meetings with the McCanns over that weekend (may 11,12,13). These unnamed men, apparently suggested that the best way to proceed in the circumstances was to set up a limited company. 

The company was incorporated on Tuesday May 15th and formally launched with much media hype on Wednesday May 16th.

What was the reason for the incredible hurry?

How did this help missing Madeleine? I have no suggestions whatsoever.
Can a company normally be set up so quickly. We are talking 4 or 5 days here 2 of which were the weekend.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Enid O'Dowd on 11.01.16 0:07

Yes Nina, a company can be set up that quickly. There is an express service for which there is an extra fee. Sometimes there are genuine reasons why a company needs to be set up in 24 hours. I can't see any good reason in this case!

I'd love to know when the date of the official launch of the Fund which took place on May 16th (with celebrities like rugby player Martin Johnson) was actually set. Instructions to set up the company could only have been given to the chosen solicitors Bates Wells & Braithwaite on Monday May 14th. How could the McCanns be sure that even using the express service that some bureaucratic hitch would not occur if there was a minor error on a document submitted, which could delay incorporation by a day or so?

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Verdi on 11.01.16 13:34

@Enid O'Dowd wrote:Members may be interested to know the speed at which the company was set up.

According the the book madeleine, on Friday May 11th 2007 two men,neither of whom were named in the book, a paralegal and a barrister flew out to Portugal and had meetings with the McCanns over that weekend (may 11,12,13). These unnamed men, apparently suggested that the best way to proceed in the circumstances was to set up a limited company. 

The company was incorporated on Tuesday May 15th and formally launched with much media hype on Wednesday May 16th.

What was the reason for the incredible hurry?

How did this help missing Madeleine? I have no suggestions whatsoever.
One thing I think is a certainty, the Fund must be operating within the confines of the law - albeit borderline.  They had enough lawyers on board their craft to be sure that they will never be prosecuted for mismanagement.  Surely?

Unless of course it can be proven that they (the McCanns) were complicit in their daughters disappearance, in which case the whole thing will be blown apart.  Somehow though I don't think that will ever happen.

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Re: Analysis of Fund accounts by Enid o'Dowd - Mccannfiles

Post by Google.Gaspar.Statements on 11.01.16 14:17

I've got faith in Mr Amaral when he says this is a mere battle in a war that is far from over. I think, especially now all this money has been raised for him, that he will fight on and expose the truth.

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