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Man Claiming to Sell the Late Queen Elizabeth II’s Walking Stick is Arrested for Fraud

A walking stick is shown against a neutral background (left) and Queen Elizabeth the II is shown (right)
Source: Canva/Wikipedia

A man has just made international headlines for what could be the most prominent case of fraud this year. Southern England resident Dru Marshall has attempted to commit fraud online, claiming to have and sell Queen Elizabeth II’s walking stick in exchange for several hundred pounds.

Here’s what we know.

You’re likely wondering: Who would have fell for this internet scheme, and why? Dru Marshall had recently moved from Hampshire to Southern England prior to the scheme and opted to launch online profiles where he could sell items. The attempted fraud occurred on eBay, and it is not known if he had other profiles elsewhere.

eBay is a platform that is known for buying and selling reputably, as the site acts as an escrow service and facilitator of both the buying and selling portions of the transactions. As such, many people feel safe using eBay to buy and sell online. The site has 135 million active daily users around the globe.

Dru Marshall created a story for his post to make it more convincing, stating that he had been a senior footman for the queen at her primary residence of Windsor Castle. He used this context to further solidify his claim that the walking stick was authentic, while it has been confirmed not to be per the Associated Press.

The listing had been presented as the queen’s ‘antler walking stick,’ per the Associated Press. Many prospective buyers had believed his story, as the auction had reportedly reached a ceiling of 540 pounds prior to the listing’s cancellation.

Dru had allegedly cancelled the listing once he realized that police had taken on the case, and were investigating whether or not the claims and listing were legitimate.
At the time of this publication, Dru has gone to court to be tried for fraud. The 26-year-old was found guilty of fraud vt false representation, per the Associated Press, and was questioned and charged at the Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

As a result of his charges, the Magistrates’ Court sentenced him to a 12-month community order in an attempt to address the behavior.

The Associated Press quotes Julie Macey, the senior crown prosecutor: “Dru Marshall used the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to try and hoodwink the public with a fake charity auction. The prosecutor accused Dru of being fueled by greed and a desire for attention, per the outlet.

“Marshall’s scheme was unfortunately foiled before he could successfully con any unsuspecting victims, the crown prosecutor confirmed to the Associated Press.

The valuation placed on the auction prior to shutdown was 540 pounds or $686 USD. The auction had not yet matured, which means that Dru had the possibility of earning more as a result of the fraud, had the listing not been taken down.

Fraud charges can generally be charged under the UK Fraud Act, which can penalize criminals with a max sentence of 10 years.


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