Chapter 25: How much of this is Fraud, and how much totally innocent?

How much of this is Fraud, and how much totally innocent?

In the accounts for 2008 the figure for setting up the website is given as £ 37,071 (Thirty seven THOUSAND).

A website, even of the complexity it now has, seven main pages, some with supplementary pages, and a Shop page, would cost a professional website master less than £ 2,000 (TWO thousand) to set up and to run for a year.

Source, Daily Mail, [1]

Note that the Professional fees for creating the “Fund”, which we assume refers to solicitors, Bates Wells Braithwaite, a top of the range firm, based in central London, amounts only to £ 36,070.

‘Accountants’ (Haysmacintyre ?) is shown separately, as £ 7,050

So we are asked to believe that a teenaged school leaver, in Ullapool, charged more than one and quarter times the average wage for Scotland, (£ 28,296 in 2008) [2] to produce a relatively simple web site, available off-the-peg.

Cost of a Large-Sized Website

Website costs increase considerably as you move up in scale. With multiple sections, 40 to 50 pages and lots of functionality, large websites are ideal for big companies or established online brands. [3]

The website was created by Calum MacRea, a police officer’s son, then aged 18. [4]

An article in the Scottish ‘Sunday Herald’, reported that he had been designing websites “since he was 10”. He had allegedly been approached by Gerry’s sister, the egregious Philomena, previously his teacher, within four days of Madeleine’s being reported missing.

So what are the possibilities ?

1. Callum MacRae invoiced the “Fund” for £ 37,071. The accountants signed it off and he was paid this amount. If so, this is potentially fraudulent.

2. Callum McRae was paid no such amount, but it has been entered as “creative accounting”, and the actual cash has gone elsewhere. If so, then two further possibilities arise.

a. Haysmacintyre did not know and did not notice

b. Haysmacintyre DID know, but let it pass anyway

The first option suggests incompetence, the second - fraud.

3. Is there another option ? Is there a sensible explanation ? If so, I confess I cannot see what it might be.



Post scriptum

To the above we have to add the strange dealings with criminal organisations and people posing as Private detective agencies, such as M3 and Halligen; the extremely suspicious way in which ALPHAIG was set up as a company some time after Mitchell had announced the contract; the lack of transparency of the “fund’ from its inception; the threats of action for defamation by the Solicitors and accountants when pertinent questions were raised; the sudden withdrawal by the accountants - apparently without having prepared a final account . . .

And so on

All very strange - as my grandmother would have said.