Washington 'security consultant' wanted in US on fraud charges refused bail in UK

Nov 25, 2009
The Canadian Press
Jill Lawless

A former security consultant wanted in the U.S. on charges of defrauding a client of more than $2 million was refused bail in a British court Wednesday. Kevin Halligen, 48, was arrested Tuesday after staff at a British hotel recognized him from a newspaper article that said he had gained defense and security contracts by claiming to be a former British secret agent.

London's Metropolitan Police said Halligen, an Irish national, was being held on a U.S. extradition warrant. He was indicted in Washington on Nov. 12, accused of taking $2.1 million intended to help secure the release of two corporate executives detained in West Africa. Prosecutors say Halligen used the money for personal benefit, including the purchase of a Virginia mansion.

Staff at a hotel in Oxford, southern England, said Halligen was arrested when the manager called police after seeing his photo in the Sunday Times story. He had been staying there under an assumed name.

Halligen's firm, Oakley International Group, was once hired by the McCann family to help find their toddler Madeleine, who disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007 aged 3. The McCann family said they ended their association with Oakley more than a year ago. Halligen's next court appearance is Dec. 2.

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