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

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

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

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

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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.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

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.

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