Maddy fund "conman" skips own bail hearing

3 Dec 2009

An alleged conman suspected of stealing EUR330,000 from the Madeleine McCann fund remained behind bars last night after skipping a bail hearing. Irishman Kevin Halligen, 48, is facing extradition to the US over an unrelated EUR1.3million fraud.

He was arrested by police last month at a luxury hotel in Oxford. Halligen - whose birth certificate spells his name as Halligan - had reportedly been led away in handcuffs from the Old Bank Hotel, where he was staying with his girlfriend under a false name. He is wanted in the US for defrauding an oil company of more than EUR1.3million.

Asking for bail at a first court appearance, Halligen claimed he had an address in the UK where he had been living with his girlfriend but had been forced to flee because of press attention eight months ago.

He was remanded in custody and City of Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday heard Halligen told his solicitor during a prison visit he would not attend a scheduled remand hearing to make a bail application.

Melanie Cumberland, representing the US authorities, told District Judge Caroline Tubbs: "He is accused of wire fraud and money laundering. A provisional arrest warrant was issued on November 25."

The judge formally remanded Halligen in custody ahead of a hearing to check on legal aid on December 23 and a mention in January next year.

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