Thursday, 5 February 2009

The McCanns spent only 13% of the Madeleine fund in searching for their daughter.



The "Madeleine," Fund received nearly 3 million Euros from private donors, but the accounts do not explain where all the money has gone and do not even mention payments on the McCanns' mortgage or mobile phones.

See the original Madeleine Fund accounts (in English) on the SOS Madeleine McCann web site.

The fund, "Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited," created by Kate and Gerry McCann, nine days after Madeleine's disappearance from the apartment in Praia da Luz, received, up to March 2008, nearly three million Euros in donations, but only 13.3% of the money has been squandered, the couple say, in the investigations to find their daughter.

The Madeleine Fund accounts from May 2007 to March 2008 were only disclosed after TVI touched on a few aspects of the use to which the McCanns put the money, in the programme "As Tardes da Julia."

According to the document, to which we have had access, the fund created to finance the search for Madeleine received, up to March 2008, a total of 2,819,403 Euros, of which scarcely 1,222,699 Euros (43.37%) has been spent, most of it for running expenses. The fund now shows a balance of 1,596,733 Euros (56.63%)

Curiously, the McCanns squandered 122,856 Euros (4.36%) on posters and ads, but the document does not specify where exactly these publicity materials were distributed, which leaves a few commentators puzzled, because the various poster and "outdoors," ads distribution campaigns announced by the British media for Portugal and Spain never happened, even in Morocco, the country where the investigators hired by the couple claimed that Maddie was to be found. The only posters distributed were those that Kate and Gerry took during their visit and which they gave to the children who were gathered for the occasion.

Another curious fact is that in the fund accounts there is no mention either of the amounts the couple used to make two payments on the mortgage taken out on the purchase of their house, paid with donated money, as was confirmed to the press by Clarence Mitchell, former head of Tony Blair's government's Media Monitoring Unit and spokesman for the McCanns.

The accounts state that the couple spent 224,529 Euros (7.96%) on public relations and media monitoring, expenses that do not include - if we take account of their own statements - Clarence Mitchell's salary, but which reveal a constant concern with what is going to be said in the media, not forgetting the internet where the couple's lawyers have threatened some of those who do not believe in the theory of Maddie's abduction.

Since May 2007, the internet has been a constant concern for the McCanns, which could possibly explain the amount wasted on the creation and maintenance of the internet pages for the fund and the online shop, where you can buy t-shirts, bracelets and other items related to the little girl: according to the outgoings now made public, the site cost 55,606 Euros (1.97%) in eleven months of activity.

The Madeleine Fund is not a charity, but it is rich, very rich.

While Madeleine's body is not found, the Madeleine fund, "Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited," has its future assured - as long as its legal purpose is to continue to look for Maddie - and financial health that many companies envy, particularly in times of crisis: after 11 months of work, the fund shows a current balance of 1,596,733 Euros, being 56.63% of receipts.

Contrary to what was thought initially, the fund created by the McCanns on May 12th 2007 - scarcely 9 days after Madeleine had disappeared - is not a charity which, according to a former spokesperson for the couple, is explained by the fact that the couple do not wish to be bound by the strict conditions of management imposed by the commission that oversees this type of business, the "Charity Commission," where they would be obliged to scrupulously respect the objectives of the fund and to fully disclose outgoings and receipts.

Being a private fund, the Madeleine Fund is regulated by the same department as small and medium-sized businesses (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - BERR) and as such, after the first year of activity, it is only obliged to submit a summary of accounts.

Duarte Levy (London)

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