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FRAUDULENT FUND

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Posting this so that it gets preserved. With acknowledgements.

Post by PeterMac on 30.06.14 7:48

http://asaucesaid.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/follow-money.html

A Sauce Said...
A blog about the McCanns, the media, money and the Met.
Sunday, 29 June 2014

Follow the money


Collection box at entrance to Ocean Club Tapas Bar in Praia da Luz,
July 2007, with hand-written note from Kate McCann.


So what did happen to the ‘reward money’ donated by News of the World readers in 2007 and handed to the McCanns’ company in April 2011?

One thing is clear: it wasn’t used to search for Madeleine.

News UK have stated that:
the Reward Fund payout was in addition to, separate from and not included within the payment of £550,000 for serialisation rights to Mrs McCann’s book.
According to documents at Companies House,  income to Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd in year ended March 31 2012, the period covering the April 2011 transfer, totalled £856,393.
That financial year, for the first time in the five-year reporting history of the company, income was split into Restricted and Unrestricted Funds.
This is a common practice among charities. Typically, a donor will request that the money given is used to support a particular aspect of the charity’s activities.
But Madeleine’s Fund isn’t a charity. It is a limited company.

Income under Restricted Funds is shown as £550,000, precisely the figure paid by News International for serialisation rights to Mrs McCann’s book.

On p8 of the accounts, it is noted:
Following the publication of Kate McCann’s book, ‘Madeleine: Our daughter’s disappearance and the continuing search for her’, £550,000 was donated  for the direct costs of the search for, and the investigation into the disappearance of, Madeleine.

No explanation is offered in the accounts as to why it was deemed necessary to make this distinction.
Given that the ‘reward money’ does not appear within Restricted Funds, it can only have been accounted for within Unrestricted Funds.
It must form part of the £306,393 income other than that from News International’s serialisations rights payment.
Which, of course, means it could be used for expenditure other than direct costs of the search for Madeleine.
In year ended March 31 2012, that expenditure amounted to £272,764.

How did the Fund spend so much money in one year on costs other than directly searching for Madeleine?

The Fund’s website, findmadeleine.com, claims it operates to “the highest standards of transparency and accountability” but in reality, as the company’s accounts note, “the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the special provisions relating to companies subject to the small companies regime within Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 and in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (effective April 2008)”.

In practice, this means the Fund is required to offer much less information on its activities than it would if it was indeed a charity.

Here’s how that Unrestricted Funds expenditure of £272,764 is broken down within the published accounts:

Merchandising and Campaign Costs                        242,727
Administration Expenses                                            24,909
Tax on surplus on ordinary activities                            5,128

But what are those first two figures paying for?
According to the Director’s Report for that year, the Fund:
-       continued to pay for a 24 hour, 7 days a week telephone line to receive and capture information provided by the general public worldwide
-       provided part-time administrative support to aid the investigation and campaign to find Madeleine (campaign coordinator and media liaison)
-       facilitated complete hand over of all material relating to Madeleine’s abduction held by the Fund to the MPS
-       supported a small investigation team, including a Portuguese speaker to lead a private search for Madeleine. Since March 2012, private investigation of lines of enquiry has been suspended whilst the MPS review progresses. The private investigation team employed by the Fund continue to cooperate and work with the Metropolitan Police force as and when necessary.
-       continued to fund the awareness-raising campaign to ensure that Madeleine is not forgotten and to encourage the general public to remain vigilant. This has included the running of the Find Madeleine website (www.findmadeleine.com)
-       continued to fund and work in partnership with a specialist Portuguese communications agency to ensure that our message is communicates as widely and accurately as possible in Portugal.

The accounts offer us no guidance, but it might be reasonable to assume that those first four activities were met from Restricted Funds - where expenditure in that year amounted to an additional £234,086 - in that they appear to be directly related to ‘the search for Madeleine’.
(Alternatively, the ‘part-time administrative support’ may form part of the £24,909 Administration Expenses, met from Unrestricted Funds. The Fund doesn’t say.)
But how did the Fund spend nearly a quarter of a million pounds on Merchandising and Campaign Costs?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perhaps some clues to the expenditure can be found back in 2008, when the Fund published its first set of accounts, covering May 2007  to March 2008.

Then it had offered, quite reasonably, a breakdown of its expenditure:

Extract from accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd
for year ending 31 March 2008.

That breakdown showed that of the £815k total expenditure, just £250k, a curiously round number, had been spent on ‘Search fees’.
Nearly £82k had been spent on ‘Awareness’, perhaps advertising costs. Over £37k had been spent on a rudimentary website.
£123k had been spent on Campaign Management, fees to PR professionals.
£26k had been spent on Media Monitoring, which Wikipedia notes as ‘a beneficial tool to evaluate the efforts and progress of a PR firm.’
But perhaps most surprising of all were some of the other costs identified.

Legal fees and expenses amounted to over £111k. What these legal fees covered remains unclear, but what they didn’t cover were legal fees associated with the constitution of the Fund itself. Those amounted to an additional £68k.
Administering the Fund cost another £36k in ‘Fund professional fees’, £13k for ‘Auditors’ remuneration’ and £7k ‘Accountancy fees’.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That would be the only occasion on which the Fund would offer any breakdown of its expenditure. For the next five years, it simply restricted itself to one figure for Merchandise and Campaign Costs, another for Administration expenses and a third for Tax

It would perhaps be wrong to compare the breakdown of expenditure in 2007/08 to that in 2011/12.
But it seems unlikely that News of the World readers who, in 2007, had given their cash as a reward for information leading to the safe return of Madeleine - and had been told that, in the event of the reward not being claimed, it would be paid instead to three children’s charities - ever envisaged that their donations would be used to pay lawyers, auditors, accountants and PR guys.

And with not a word of thanks, this time, from Kate and Gerry McCann.

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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by tigger on 30.06.14 11:11

splat  Gosh!  

Then there was the £ 20.000,- or so donated by the Irish to an account held by a TV station. However, the money had been donated under the impression that the cause was a registered charity. When the TV channel discovered it wasn't, there was quite a tussle and I believe the  matter was resolved by Mitchell with the expected outcome: after a long wait the money was paid into the Ltd. Co.  

No doubt Mitchell wanted to make sure there'd be enough in the kitti to pay him.

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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by BlueBag on 18.07.14 14:22

Fighting Fund (to fight who?)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6662723.stm


Speaking at the launch, Mr McCann said: "This fund will be a vehicle to help our family get our darling, wee niece back."
It was also announced that any money raised not needed for the search for Madeleine would be used to help find missing children in the UK, Portugal and elsewhere.
"If, as a result of this fund, and as a result of getting Madeleine back, we can help other families in a similar situation that would be fantastic," Mr McCann added.


Does anyone know how much money was spent on this?
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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by Enid O'Dowd on 18.07.14 14:28

@BlueBag wrote:Fighting Fund (to fight who?)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6662723.stm


Speaking at the launch, Mr McCann said: "This fund will be a vehicle to help our family get our darling, wee niece back."
It was also announced that any money raised not needed for the search for Madeleine would be used to help find missing children in the UK, Portugal and elsewhere.
"If, as a result of this fund, and as a result of getting Madeleine back, we can help other families in a similar situation that would be fantastic," Mr McCann added.


Does anyone know how much money was spent on this?

Presumably nothing has been spent to find other missing children as Madeleine has not been found, and looking for other children only happens when she is found/or it is proved she is dead.

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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by BlueBag on 18.07.14 14:28

McCanns used fund to pay mortgage

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7068760.stm


Clarence Mitchell said: "The fund has always had the ability to assist the family financially if necessary."

Now I'm confused.

I thought money not spent on the search for Madeleine was going to be used to find missing children in the UK and Portugal.
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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by Guest on 18.07.14 15:10

@BlueBag wrote:McCanns used fund to pay mortgage

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7068760.stm


Clarence Mitchell said: "The fund has always had the ability to assist the family financially if necessary."

Now I'm confused.

I thought money not spent on the search for Madeleine was going to be used to find missing children in the UK and Portugal.

and maybe in Cloud Cuckooland?
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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by Newintown on 18.07.14 18:59

@BlueBag wrote:McCanns used fund to pay mortgage

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7068760.stm


Clarence Mitchell said: "The fund has always had the ability to assist the family financially if necessary."

Now I'm confused.

I thought money not spent on the search for Madeleine was going to be used to find missing children in the UK and Portugal.

It will be a miracle if there is 1p left from the "Fund" after the McCanns have paid all of their legal costs that have been accumulating for the past 7 years.  No wonder they're really desperate to get their hands on the £1milllion+ from taking GA to court.

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Spot the difference

Post by PeterMac on 23.08.14 23:23

Spot the difference.



Bottle blond, Crew cut, brunette,  crew cut
whiney professional, whiney underclass.
Lots of money, no money
liar, liar, liar, liar,
Not yet found out, not yet found out, in prison, in prison.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible

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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by Google.Gaspar.Statements on 24.08.14 7:48

@PeterMac wrote:Spot the difference.



Bottle blond, Crew cut, brunette,  crew cut
whiney professional, whiney underclass.
Lots of money, no money
liar, liar, liar, liar,
Not yet found out, not yet found out, in prison, in prison.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible
Non-abduction dead, Non-abduction dead, Non-abduction alive, Non-abduction alive.
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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by roy rovers on 03.10.16 23:34

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/03/donald-trump-foundation-donations-new-york

Trump's fund has been told to 'cease and desist' in New York. Failure to do so would be deemed as 'a fraud upon the people of the state of New York'.
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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by MayMuse on 04.10.16 0:25

In some instances, Trump reportedly used the money to purchase gifts for himself. One such purchase, mocked by Barack Obama at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton last month, was a $20,000 portrait of Trump himself that the real estate mogul earmarked as charity, the paper reported. 
Trump also used more than $250,000 from the foundation to settle lawsuits against his businesses and in 2013 gave $25,000 to a campaign group associated with Florida’s Republican attorney general, Pamela Bondi, both in apparent violation of the law, the Post wrote. 
Trump’s campaign has largely avoided questions concerning the foundation, dismissing the stories instead as “peppered with inaccuracies and omissions” while failing to identify any specific errors in the news reports.


????? GREED!!!

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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by tigger on 10.02.17 12:50

I hope this hasn't been posted elsewhere on the forum, but thought it a good idea to put it here:


OPEN LETTER TO Bates Wells Braithwaite  AND TO HaysmacIntyre
Respectively Solicitors and Accountants for the Madeleine Fund 




Individual Copies sent to redacted  and  redacted 
who it is reported were jointly concerned with setting up the Fund




Dear Sir and Madam,




Several years ago I wrote to you about claims by Francisco Marco - proprietor of the detective agency, Metodo3, that they would be able to return Madeleine McCann to her parents 'by Christmas'.




You were kind enough to reply. You denied that such a claim had been made.




I am not sure whether you were fully aware that the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell had already said that the family were satisfied, saying '....but we are pleased the agency is confident that they will find Madeleine in due course.'




You will also be aware that Marco's words are on a 'video' clip, available on YouTube, where he re-states his position, - helpfully in English. (full reference in Appendix - 1)




But given that you and HaysM were concerned with the creation and running of the Fund are we to believe that both your firms were simultaneously neglecting their duties.




As you know, in her autobiography, 'madeleine', Kate McCann herself admitted that these words had  been used, which gave rise to a number of questions about your and HaysM's level of interest,  professional competence, and/or veracity.




You will be aware that a recently published book -  La Cortina de Humo - by a sometime employee of Metodo3 details several large scale frauds committed against the Madeleine Fund, and shows how the techniques employed should have been apparent to anyone with responsibility for 'due diligence' and certainly to a trained and conscientious accountant.  (full reference in Appendix - 2)




Again this may raise important questions about professional competence.




I am confident that you will have read the book, and will have studied in depth the chapter devoted to the fraud, but so that anyone else reading this shall know, he details very crude and simple methods, which should have been obvious to anyone. He says that evidence is available to investigators, and may already be in their hands.  




They include simply obtaining receipts for travel from an El Corte Ingles travel branch, and then forging them by overwriting the relevant details, before including these in the monthly invoices to the Fund, overseen by you.




He states that the 20 operatives - or 40 as sometimes quoted - who were being routinely charged for consisted of at most three (3), and for most of the time, only two. He names them.




He goes on to expose the mendacious claim that Metodo3 had successfully recovered more than 300 missing persons in a single year. He worked for this company for several years and was aware of only two (2) such examples. Perhaps these issues could and should have been explored in detail before the contract was signed. Data Protection and the laws relating to the protection of minors would not prevent outline details of many of the cases being supplied for investigation, and Company accounts detailing a total of only twelve (12) employees are public documents.




He publishes the e-mails he sent to the people who had been financing the operation, in which he gives details of the fraud. He also sent these to two of the six Directors of the Fund, whom he names.




He received no reply and no acknowledgement. He interprets this, perhaps with justification, as a 'wall of silence'.




It is inconceivable that you and HaysM were not made aware of this, and again it raises further questions about your involvement, and your professional competence. The possibility of higher level collusion is of course unthinkable.




In your internet advertising you both make great play of your devotion to, and the importance of conducting and maintaining Due Diligence - you use the term 42 times, and HaysM 35 times. You both mention Transparency (58 and 44 times respectively), and Justice (86 and 16). You go further to discuss Investigation (78) and you use the word Fraud 35 times. HaysM use it 25 times.




It is clear therefore that both firms, at least in publicity and advertising, say they understand the importance of vigilance against Fraud at all levels and at all times.




It may be however that on this on occasion both firms simultaneously made the identical mistake or simultaneously failed to notice the glaring irregularities.
This would be in line with what is alleged to have happened many times during this perplexing case.

  • The blood and cadaver detection dogs were said to have made a series of mistakes but only in this  case, when they alerted to 14 items and places linked with the McCanns - but to no other places. The dogs' previous and subsequent performance has never been successfully challenged in the criminal courts

  • Some of the best detectives and Police advisors from several police forces from different countries made identical and false deductions




  • Top lawyers and public prosecutors in Portugal concurrently and independently made identical gross errors
    ...and so on. The case is full of remarkable coincidences. Many hundreds have been recorded so far. The revelation that  £ 500,000 of publicly donated money was squandered on a fraudulent enterprise, but worse - that no attempt was then made to recover the money, nor to take action against the alleged fraudsters, might damage public confidence in both your firms.
    You are also surely aware of the book, El Método, by the proprietor of Metodo3, Fransicso Marco, in which at p. 452, he says 'Someday I'll explain if we believe that Maddie is alive or dead, and, if she was killed, who we think did it.' (full reference in Appendix - 3)
    I draw this to your attention, as, of course, if it is eventually shown that Madeleine was in fact dead and that the parents knew or suspected this, as now seems increasingly likely, then the entire Fund would itself have been fraudulent ab initio, and the issue of due diligence and professional supervision will assume even greater importance, with the persons concerned being liable to account either to Civil or Criminal Courts.
    The apparent failure or neglect of due diligence in the contracting of Kevin Halligen, of Oakley International, the Company referred to by Clarence Mitchell as 'the big boys, the best there is in international investigation.', - Halligen a proven and convicted fraudster and the Fund's subsequent failure to claim back the £ 0.5 m handed over to him under your joint supervision, is now a matter of historical note, and is documented and has been discussed elsewhere at considerable length.
    Similarly the strange case of the contract awarded to two retired junior police officers, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley - according to Clarence Mitchell, a team of crack detectives - and of a company falsely named in many press reports as the impressive  'Alpha Group Investigations', - a respectable company in the USA. The company, was only incorporated as ALPHAIG, with an address of a cottage in the hills of Wales, some considerable time after this had been said. This strange case has already been picked over and the timeline confirmed.
    Again the level of due diligence performed here seems - to a lay outsider - to be questionable. It is not clear, for example, how even the most basic Company Check could possibly have been conducted. According to the filed Company accounts it was operating on resources of £ 650 cash and fixed assets of £ 853. This case and the alleged involvement of your two firms has been discussed at length.
    But we are left wondering whether two firms of your stature could have made three consecutive and identical errors of professional judgement and competence, not learning from the preceding ones, in the handling of a huge amount of donated money paid into just one Fund, benefitting just one couple.
    Yours sincerely,   redacted

    PLEASE NOTE:

    I fully appreciate that you are under no legal or moral obligation to reply to this letter, nor to answer any of the concerns raised.
    In view of that, and the huge public interest generated by this case over the past eight years, it is intended, after a reasonable time, that this letter will be published on a web forum as an Open Letter, with some personal details redacted.
    I am confident that given your commitment to Transparency, Justice and Investigation that this is acceptable.
    1 YouTube
    The interview with Francisco Marco, in which he says - in English -
    “I know the kidnapper and we know where he is.
    We know who he is and we know how he has done it . . .”
    may be viewed at 1:23 on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4crZrHLJUw
    2 La Cortina de Humo - 'The Smokescreen' - by Julian Peribañez and Antonio
    Tamarit
    (August 2014, ISBN 978-84-941649-8-9)
    3 El Método - ‘The Method’ - by Francisco Marco Fernández
    (October 2013, ISBN 978-84-9970-943-7)
    Both books are available from Amazon.es, Casa del Libro, and Amazon.co.uk
    Quotes from La Cortina de Humo. Translated by a qualified and attested translator
    p. 177 - I began to realise to what extent the company was swindling the fund which had been set
    up and which was supported by hundreds of unsuspecting people whose sole objective was to
    find Madeleine. Nothing special, just inflated expenses, invented items and false invoices, etc.
    p.178 - Francisco Marco, whenever asked, always replied that Método 3 had deployed ‘twenty
    men’ to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance! That was yet another lie.
    This was the tactic used by Francisco Marco to inflate Método 3’s invoices to the client
    p. 182 - He omitted to tell the journalist that his specialists were his mother and his cousin; he
    must have thought there was no need to mention this. Alternatively, he may have thought
    that the journalist had realised that his cousin was the chief financial officer (meaning the
    accountant) of Método 3 and that his mother was just a woman who didn’t even hold a driving
    licence and had been a secretary at a detective agency and who was involved in sales for the
    agency and not investigative work.
    p. 185 - He presented them with false invoices for travel and accommodation expenses for the 20
    people who were supposed to be working in Portugal. The procedure for accomplishing this task
    was simple and straightforward and no scientific methodology was required: all they had to do
    was obtain some El Corte Inglés travel invoices and subsequently falsify them by changing the
    details.
     
    Acknowledgements and replies were received from both companies after the Easter break:
    Haysmacintyre explained that 'Client Confidentiality' prevented their making any further comment.
    Bates Wells Braithwaite added that the remarks by Julian Peribañez were defamatory of Francisco Marco, which is undoubtedly correct if those allegations are untrue.
    They also helpfully suggested that the matter should be referred to the regulatory and disciplinary authorities.
     


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Re: FRAUDULENT FUND

Post by plebgate on 11.02.17 22:09

Good old joe public.   Mr. & Mrs. asked for gen. public help and they are certainy getting it.  Their solicitors must be pleased surely.

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