Date: 8 Jan 2018
Kevin Halligen was found injured at his home and died soon after.
Although the police said that they found no suspicious circumstances, it was noted that he had led the high profile investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a young child, in Portugal and that he have misused funds and had later served a prison sentence for other frauds in the United States.
He was found in a pool of blood and died from acute subdural haemorrhage.
His death was initially described by the police as unexplained.
The house he was at was said to have belonged to his long-term girlfriend.
He had run a firm called Oakley International and worked as a private detective and was used by the family of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann to search for their daughter after she vanished from her bed at a resort in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on the evening of 3 May 2007.
It was said that Kevin Halligen's Washington-based company received about £300,000 that was donated by the public to support the search for Madeleine McCann for a six-month contract, but that he had siphoned much of it off to pay for luxury services including first-class travel, hotel suites, a chauffeur and a mansion in Virginia.
It was said that Kevin Halligen had presented himself as a 'cloak-and-dagger, James Bond-style spy'.
It was heard that Oakley International had been described to Madeleine McCann's family as extremely secretive but absolutely the best.
It was heard that Kevin Halligen had boasted about employing ex-FBI, CIA and Special forces officers to carry out undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering in Portugal which had left Madeleine McCann's family impressed and believing that he was in a different league to other private investigators. He was also said to have claimed to be able to get satellite imagery and details of telephone calls from the night of 3 May 2007 when Madeleine McCann vanished.
However, it was later claimed that Oakley International had not looked into hundreds of calls made to the hotlines and that bills for specialists were not being paid. It was further stated that the satellite imagery that he had alluded to was just screen shots from Google Earth.
It was said that he Madeleine McCann's family found him hard to deal with as he was often overseas and used different phones and they eventually terminated the contract after he had been paid about £300,000.
Madeleine McCann's mother said, 'We were upset that, although a lot of hard work had been done on Madeleine's behalf, it seemed money provided by her fund might not ever have reached the people who had earned it'. In a book she later wrote in 2011 she said that Kevin Halligen was out of his depth and had no experience of such investigations and was not an expert in undercover operations at all.
He denied the claims but was said to have later sunk into alcohol addiction.
An investigative journalist that worked with Kevin Halligen to make a documentary said, 'Although his death is certainly not foul play, as has been suggested, there are certainly a lot of people who wished him ill. But he was also unique. I knew chapter and verse about his life and career, but my interest was really to try and get to the bottom of why he did what he did. My understanding is that he was found dead on Monday night. There was blood around the house, probably caused by previous falls when he was either drunk or blacking out. Halligen was increasingly shambolic and these blood stains hadn’t been cleared up. His house was full of empty drink bottles. A lot of people wished him ill but his death is almost certainly related to alcoholism'.
It was heard that Madeleine McCann 's family had entered into a £500,000 contract with Oakley International to hire detectives, set up telephone hotlines and to process information. however, the family terminated the arrangement without paying the full fees after they claimed that certain agreements had not been fulfilled.
After that, in 2012, Kevin Halligen was extradited to the United States to face other unrelated charges involving a £1.3m scam to which he pleaded guilty in 2013 and was sentenced to 41 months and deported upon his release. The scam had involved a Dutch company called Trafigura that he had approached in order to raise funds to secure the release of two business executives that had been arrested in the Ivory Coast.
In a documentary in 2014 he denied that he had misused the Madeleine McCann funds.
Kevin Halligen was from Dublin.