‘I’m innocent’ says Forward Press publisher after arrest in Malaga

LAST UPDATED: 1 May, 2011 @ 22:49
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‘I’m innocent’ says Forward Press publisher after arrest in Malaga

A DISGRACED publisher exposed by the Olive Press has pleaded his innocence after being arrested at Malaga airport.

Ian Walton, who was questioned on suspicion of fraud by his company Forward Press, insisted he was a “victim of the recession.”

Speaking to the Olive Press, Walton insisted he was not guilty of defrauding 9,100 pupils at 1,400 schools around Spain.

Police believe that at least 400 schools in Andalucia fell victim to the ‘Escritores Jovenes’ competition, where the parents paid 13 euros to have their children’s work published.

As the Olive Press revealed in January the company’s two offices in La Cala and Malaga shut after failing to deliver 35,000 books that had been paid for.

Police believe that the company took at least 160,000 euros fraudulently.

In the following issue, we reported how the publisher had set up similar schemes in Italy and France, now confirmed by police using a separate company Bonacia.

A UK report in the Mail on Sunday later claimed he had shrugged off a 1.6m debt and continued to live a luxurious lifestyle.

However, Walton insists that he and his business were casualties of the financial crisis.

“The Spanish authorities need to decide whether I committed fraud or whether I am a genuine victim of the recession,” Walton explained.

“I maintain my innocence and hope they will see I have not committed any crime.”

He claims that when Forward Press went bust in the UK last year, reportedly owing 250,000 euros, the Spanish arm couldn’t survive.

“I poured 320,000 euros into the Spanish business but we still couldn’t cover the rents, staff costs, etc.

“I still have every intention of publishing all the books we promised.”

However, Guardia Civil detectives claim he was arrested last month after renting new premises in Marbella.

They confirmed that his second firm Bonacia was already taking in new orders elsewhere in Europe.

The prosecutor leading the case requires Walton to report in every two weeks while they build the case against him.

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  1. I have just received two letters from an Ian Walton company in the UK – ‘Forwardpoetry’- after my daughter submitted two poems to the yet another poetry competition organised by Ian Walton (of course she did not know who run the competition and had never heard of Ian Walton). The letter requests copyright permission for the poems to be published in two separate books which we can then buy at a ‘discounted’ price of £17.95 each (discounted from £19.99!). When I Phoned to ask why contributors to the book do not even get a single complimentary copy, I was told that it was because the profits from the sale of the books go back into the company to run more competitons! Hmmm…?

  2. I received this in post tonight . Seems odd we got letter from them day schools break up for summer so parents cannot call school to find out more. Now its under “Young Writers” at address in Peterborough.Same letters his company used along with certificate for the pupil. Crazy ! It has taken me an hour to look into this so how come my daughters High School has done this and breached data protection by giving our address to a company that’s all over online scamming ?

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