Man 'Fueled by Greed' Hears His Fate for Fake Royal Artifact

He gets 12 months' community service after trying to sell walking stick he said belonged to Elizabeth
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2024 6:55 PM CST
Man 'Fueled by Greed' Hears His Fate for Fake Royal Artifact
Queen Elizabeth II is seen at Buckingham Palace in London on June 5, 2022.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool, File)

A 26-year-old man who tried to sell what he claimed was a walking stick used by the late Queen Elizabeth II has been sentenced for defrauding eBay buyers. Dru Marshall, from Hampshire in southern England, claimed he was a senior footman at Windsor Castle and that the proceeds from the sale of the "antler walking stick" would go to cancer research, reports the AP. Marshall claimed that the queen had used the stick "as she struggled with her mobility," per the Evening Standard, which notes Marshall tried to sell the stick just a week after the queen died in September 2022.

The auction had reached nearly $690 before Marshall canceled the listing after learning police had launched an investigation, prosecutors said. A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson says that Marshall claimed the attempted sale "was not a scam but a joke made in bad taste and later a social experiment to see how much attention his post would receive." Marshall was found guilty of fraud by false representation at Southampton Magistrates' Court and sentenced on Monday to a 12-month community order. Marshall also has to pay a $145 "victim surcharge," as well as nearly $650 in other costs.

The CPS rep says that Marshall's plan unraveled thanks to computer evidence, including his search history, which included terms like "the queen" and "how to delete an eBay listing." "Dru Marshall used the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to try and hoodwink the public with a fake charity auction—fueled by greed and a desire for attention," Julie Macey, a senior prosecutor, said. "Marshall's scheme was ultimately foiled before he could successfully con any unsuspecting victims." (More Queen Elizabeth II stories.)

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