Fraud allegations against a retired lawyer who helped set-up a group questioning Madeleine McCann's abduction have been thrown out by cops.
Essex police investigated the bank accounts of the Madeleine Foundation and founder Tony Bennett.
Police investigated two Foundation cheques totalling £1,622.50 which, he said, had been paid into his personal account in respect of expenses, but found there was no evidence of criminality.
Three-year-old Maddie disappeared from Praia de Luz, Portugal, while on holiday with her doctor parents Kate and Gerry in May 2007.
Posted in our forum for comments.
Hopefully Debbie Butler, who made the false allegations, will publicly apologise to Tony Bennett on her forum http://deborahbutler.websitetoolbox.com/?forum=&trail=50
Statement from Madeleine Foundation Secretary Mr Anthony Bennett
Today's report in 'The Sun' corrects their report of 7 November 2009, which was based on an entirely malicious and fabricated story by our former Chairman, Debbie Butler. There was also an even worse story in 'The People' on 8 November 2009, which recycled Ms Butler's false allegation that I, or The Madeleine Foundation, had pocketed monies intended for the McCanns' 'Find Madeleine Fund'. I am also expecting 'The People' to publish, this Sunday, a similar news story about myself and The Madeleine Foundation having been cleared.
I would just like to add these comments and would in doing so like to thank you for the opportunity to do so.
Within 24 hours of learning that there was a police investigation into me and The Madeleine Foundation, I had provided police in Harlow with a full set of receipts covering both cheques. These included amounts I had personally paid out for postage, stationery, hire of the hotel in Harlow on 1 August 2009 and other expenses.
The current Committee of The Madeleine Foundation has had our accounts fully checked by an accountant and I would like to reassure everyone that there is absolutely no issue about any fraud of any kind within the Foundation.
I cannot account for Ms Butler's change of behaviour towards me and The Madeleine Foundation in October 2009. Her actions in recent months, especially in relation to her false claims of walking hundreds of miles in Spain for charity, will have cast serious doubts in the minds of most observers as to whether her word on anything can ever be trusted. I have stated publicly that I am happy to forgive Ms Butler her actions, but before that can happen, she must admit she was wrong and apologise for them.
The £2,677 that we had accumulated in our funds, and was to be used to fund further publications, remain frozen by the action of Ms Butler on 4 November in asking our bank to freeze our account. This was despite our having advised our bank on 2 November that there was a dispute with Ms Butler and that new signatories to the account would be approved at our forthcoming meeting on 14 November. As a result of the freeziong of our assets, various members of The Madeleine Foundation Committee have had to fund our more recent publications from their own pockets.
Despite that, we were able in June this year to make a donation of 600 euros to the Goncalo Amaral Support Project (PJGA). I should add that as certain people have questioned that payment, I have the record of the bank draft and will be happy to show that to anyone who remains in doubt that that sum (worth £515 at the rate of exchange on that day) was actually paid by our bankers.
In view of persistent claims in some quarters that I have 'made money' from my book or from The Madeleine Foundation, I must state that the reverse is true. As our Committee can confirm, I am well over £1,000 out-of-pocket due to my activities to obtain truth and justice for Madeleine McCann.
I would also like via this message to say a heart-felt thank you to those who have actively supported me or The Madeleine Foundation one way or another, and of course to all all who have strived and are genuinely striving in their own way to uncover the truth about what Clarence Mitchell said earlier this year was a 'complete mystery', most of all of course Goncalo Amaral.
Finally, I was clearly affected at the time by the vitriol thrown at me by those who I had regarded as fellow seekers after the truth about Madeleine. The allegations were serious and published in newspapers that have a combined readership of around 7-8 million people.
Despite the severe restrictions now imposed on me as a result of the McCanns hiring Carter-Ruck to threaten a High Court libel writ against me, the obvious contradictions in the accounts of events in Praia da Luz by the 'Tapas 9' are among the factors that tell me that the whole truth about Madeleine's disappearance has not been told. I therefore remain personally committed to continuing the campaign to prise out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about why she was reported missing at around 10.00pm on Thurdsay 3 May 2007.
The Madeleine Foundation
Evil, greedy NHS doctors, Kate and Gerry McCann want Amaral's house and pension and to make his children homeless
“My husband and I have never abandoned our daughters, or allowed paedophiles in our circle of friends. I am shocked that a couple who affirm to be religious is seeking out to destroy our family”, said Sofia Leal.
Full article can be read on Joana Morais: McCanns Want Amaral's Family Home
Being discussed in forums here and here
McCann Exposure: Kate and Gerry McCann seek to make two young children homeless
Good quality wristbands: Kate and Gerry McCann As Far Away From God As You Can Get
A couple of comments from the forum:
1. "Silly woman,even IF she knows more about the case she should have kept quiet considering her husband is being sued for libel"
2. "Not silly. To the contrary very brave.
Afterall the mccanns have evolved to pond low lives demanding everything, even pension...what has Mrs Amaral got to lose? There is nothing at stake anymore.
Besides she'd said nothing libellous.
If the mccanns construe it to mean them, are they then admitting guilt conscious to both points in the statement?
When this goes to trial it'll reflect very negatively for the mccanns.
Their greed and vindictiveness know no bound - is that going to go down well with the public?
It stops being about Maddie to them long ago.
It's all about their vendetta and hatred against a retired Police Inspector who'd named them 'official suspects' The pair of fascists are baying for blood; doubtless even a blind can see that.
No matter what, they cannot whitewash their blackened name. Its too late for that. Taking Amaral to court and cleaning him out only serves to rehash their blackened name in the press all over again when this goes to trial.
I have never in my life seen such greed in a defamation case even before the case is over and won.
Demanding all these even before trial begins is being very presumptious and shows their intent to destroy Amaral totally. They have taken it beyond defending their name.
If the Portuguese law has allowed for that...then it sucks. How can a presumptious demand be legal when the case is still pending trial and there's no verdict yet. If mccanns lost, can Amaral equally demand all the assets of mccanns including their future earnings and pensions?"
By Nigel Moore, with thanks to 'Astro'
Updated 09 September 2010
To clarify, the court wanted to seize half of the Amarals' house (the half that belongs to Gonçalo), but were unable to do that while the couple is married and the house legally belongs to both of them - because they wed under the most common marriage regime in Portugal, which means that any assets that were acquired by any one of them, after the date of marriage, belongs to both members of the couple.
The McCanns, via their lawyer, applied for Sofia Leal to execute a separation of assets, (i.e. to split ownership of the house into two halves) in order to facilitate the seizing of Gonçalo's half of the house; Sofia Leal refused and so, in August, the court proceeded to seize the whole house.
Following a letter from Tony Bennett of the Madeleine Foundation to Leicestershire Constabulary - the relevant section posted below - the link to the McCann's fraudulent fund has been removed:
"Why before, during and after the time the McCanns were ‘arguidos’ (which the McCanns insist means ‘persons of interest’ but is more usually translated ‘suspects’), did Leicestershire Police:
(i) Link their website to the McCanns’ fund-raising website, and
(ii) In doing so, encourage those who might have relevant information, to give this not to Leicestershire Police nor to the Portuguese Police, but to the McCanns’ own team of private investigators?
In the view of many, this set a dangerous and wholly new precedent in the history of criminal investigations anywhere in the world. A police force, openly and in a high profile manner, invited the public to donate to the fund-raising campaign of two suspects in a serious criminal investigation and helped them by diverting people who wished to supply information away from official police investigators and to their own private investigators, some of whose controversial history we have demonstrated above."
Posted on our forum here
First Dr Doug Skehan and Gerry's brother, John McCann, resign from the Fraudulent Fund and now Leicester police.....
More about Leicester police here
Update from Tony Bennett:
Madeleine McCann has been restored, after a few days, to the list of officially missing persons on the Leicestershire Police website.
But now there are TWO crucial differences between the previous page and the one put up by Leics Police last night, after some cleaning up:
1. Their page no longer links to the McCanns' fund-raising website, Find Madeleine - and
2. Their page now - and rightly - asks the public to contact Leicestershire Police with information, and not, er, Metodo 3, Francisco Marco, Oakley International, Kevin Halligen, Dave Edgar, Arthur Cowley etc.
By the way, The Madeleine Foundation does not claim the credit for this very significant change of policy by Leics Police.
Many people have protested about the previous situation of Leics Police inviting the public to donate to the McCanns and give information to them not to the police.
What we do say - and this is a matter of public record - is that we have continually raised this subject with both Leicestershire Police and the Home Office over the past two years, and we've asked FOI questions of Leics Police and encouraged others to do so. We cannot say what effect these may have had.
The Madeleine Foundation
Dr Doug Skehan, Glenfield & Spire Hospitals Leicester, resigns as Director of the McCann's fraudulent fund
Dr. Douglas Skehan, clinical director in cardiology at Glenfield Hospital resigned from "Madeleine's Fund: Leaving no Stone Unturned Limited Company"  - Filled electronically on 27/08/2010 at Companies House; Resignation Date made on August 24, 2010.
Gerry's brother, John "It's not bad for a bunch of amateurs" McCann has also resigned.
Full details on Joana Morais website
Other people connected to the fraudulent fund can be seen here
More details about the fraudulent fund can be seen here
McCann's used Fund set up to find Madeleine to pay their mortgage
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