Scam Artist Poses as Earl of Buckingham in U.K.

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An American who spent 20 years in the United Kingdom posing as a British aristocrat, has been identified as a Florida scam artist. Madeleine Brand offers listeners the latest on the man once known as the Earl of Buckingham.


A couple of weeks ago we brought you the story of the Earl of Buckingham, or rather a man claiming to be the Earl of Buckingham. We spoke with Sean O'Neill, a reporter with The Times of London, who had discovered the man was really an American named Christopher Stopford. Even his wife and grown kids didn't know who he really was.

Mr. SEAN O'NEILL (Reporter, The Times of London): He'd basically gone through the death register, found a child that had died around about the same time that he was born, stole that identity, and got a copy of the birth certificate. Using the birth certificate, was then able to create a whole new identity for himself.

BRAND: So, what's next in this strange saga?

Mr. O'NEILL: You'll have to read The Times tomorrow to find out.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BRAND: So we did read The Times. Official fingerprints confirmed Stopford's identity. And the story gets juicier. Turns out, Stopford had fled the U.S. after doing time for a parole violation related to a planned pipe bombing of his supervisor at Burger King. His father told us he's relieved to know of his son's whereabouts, though they've still not spoken.

There's more coming up on DAY TO DAY from NPR News.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from