Maddy man is arrested

25 Nov. 2009
The Evening Chronicle

A businessman once hired to help look for Madeleine McCann and who is wanted by US authorities over an alleged fraud was arrested at a hotel, according to sources. Kevin Halligen, 48, was arrested yesterday afternoon at the Old Bank Hotel in Oxford following a discrepancy over his hotel bill and is currently in custody in the county, it is understood. The US Department of Justice issued an indictment for the Briton two weeks ago alleging he tried to defraud a London law firm of more than £1.2m. His firm, Oakley International, was used by Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry for around six months last year to look for their missing daughter.

He was being held in custody in Oxford and it was understood a court hearing relating to an extradition matter could take place today. Earlier this month the US Department of Justice issued an indictment for Halligen, who is from Surrey. It is alleged he claimed the £1.2m was to help secure the release of two business executives from the Dutch company Trafigura, who were arrested in the Ivory Coast.

Halligen is accused of using the funds for his own benefit including buying a mansion in Virginia. Washington-based Oakley International was paid around £300,000 by backers of Madeleine McCann's parents to help look for the child after she went missing from an Algarve resort in May 2007.

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