Friday

Madeleine Foundation: Fraud allegations thrown out by cops



Published: Today

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.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3151107/MADDIE-FRAUD-CASE-KO.html

Posted in our forum for comments.
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Hopefully Debbie Butler, who made the false allegations, will publicly apologise to Tony Bennett on her forum http://deborahbutler.websitetoolbox.com/?forum=&trail=50
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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.

Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation