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Fraudster who pretended to be the Queen’s footman sentenced for eBay scam

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A fraudster who tricked eBay users into bidding for a walking stick purporting to belong to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been sentenced.

Just one week after the late Queen died in September 2022, Dru Marshall, 26 and now of Romsey, claimed to be a Senior Footman at Windsor Castle when he listed an ‘antler walking stick’ for sale via online auction.

In his eBay listing, Marshall said the Queen used the stick in her final years “as she struggled with her mobility” and dishonestly claimed the money raised would go to Cancer Research UK.

Bids reached £540 when Marshall hastily closed the listing after discovering Thames Valley Police were investigating the scam.

He pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation, at different times claiming the venture 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.

Prosecutors secured a conviction against Marshall by unravelling his ever-changing defence with extensive computer evidence.

Debunking the claim his account had been hacked by a friend in Spain, prosecutors used Marshall’s online search history to show his intent to defraud potential victims by finding the terms ‘the Queen’ and ‘how to delete an eBay listing’.

Julie Macey, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex, said: “Dru Marshall used the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to try and hoodwink the public with a fake charity auction – fuelled by greed and a desire for attention.

“Marshall’s scheme was ultimately foiled before he could successfully con any unsuspecting victims – and the CPS will continue to work hand-in-glove with law enforcement to bring fraudsters to justice.”

Marshall was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order on Monday 8 January at Southampton Magistrates' Court.

He was also ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.

Notes to editors

  • Dru Marshall (DOB: 05/10/1997) was found guilty of fraud by false representation following a trial at Southampton Magistrates' Court.
  • He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, ordered to complete 40 hours unpaid work and must pay a victim surcharge of £114 and £500 in costs.
  • Julie Macey is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex.

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