Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A Warning About Matthew Brown

The son of a late Hong Kong businessman, a leading light of the Conservative Youth Movement, a Baronet, the boyfriend of a CNN anchor, a French Count, a German Prince, an English QC, a US Republican fundraiser, the CEO of a charitable foundation... May I introduce you to Matthew Brown?

Matthew Brown

None of the Above

Matthew Brown is in fact none of the above.  He is, in fact, a very naughty boy.  He is a serial fraudster who is in somewhat hot water at the moment.  He has been working as the campaign manager and special adviser to high-profile Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Mervyn Barrett.  As reported by the BBC, he recently resigned from this position after his connections to a US right-wing lobbying group were unveiled by Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph.

I write this blog not out of spite, but because I believe there is a genuine public interest in naming Matthew Brown as a fraud.  He has exploited the goodwill of people I know, cost them money, taken in thousands of people online, abused the trust that exists (and which I greatly value) in the social media world, hurt student barristers, damaged the campaign of a PCC candidate and lied continually.

Matthew is 28 and has a long history of fraud.  The first instance I can find is this Evening Standard story from 2004 which describes his conviction of an £18,000 fraud by the then 20 year old, who was eventually recognised by a ticket inspector boarding a first class train.  224 similar offences were taken into account.  He is described in that article as an "unemployed spend-thrift" who had a trust fund that would kick in at the age of 25.

The trust fund (if it ever existed) did not step in when the 24 year old Matthew Brown was declared bankrupt in the High Court of Justice on 26 February 2008 (11456 of 2007).  The insolvency service informed me that his discharge from bankruptcy was suspended for a period of non-cooperation with the Official Receiver, but he was eventually discharged on 4 May 2009.

Meeting Matthew

In March 2008 (weeks after his bankruptcy) someone purporting to be Renate de Unger, the private secretary of a "Sir Matthew Brown", contacted us about staying in a farmhouse in Suffolk that I part own.  We had never heard of him and knew none of the above information.  We usually only accept bookings after the cheque clears, but in this case "Sir" Matthew wanted to say at very short notice and a quick google search revealed a Wikipedia entry that seemed to suggest he was "kosher".  He asked whether he could land by helicopter, but instead chose to come by car.

The entry was deleted shortly afterwards, but it was full of wild claims such as "In 2000 he founded the Conservative Youth Alliance. In July 2001 the Independent newspaper called him 'the King of Kindergarten politics'... Brown inherited from his father and godfather a multi million pound fortune including a majority stake in the hotel and restaurant company Icehome.  It owns a number of upscale properties both in Europe and the Middle East.  In February 2008 Brown entered into a civil partnership with Sebastian Innes-Kerr.  Brown's mother was born Baroness Renate de Unger, former daughter in law of Edmund de Unger who owns one of the worlds largest collections of Islamic and Medivial [sic] art. Brown's godparents include HRH Princess Margarita of Romania and Lord Bethel, the former Conservative MEP, HIH Prince Valentin Romanoff and Vice Admiral Sir Neville Course."

Blah, blah, blah...

"Sir" Matthew trashed our lovely farmhouse and his cheque bounced.  I'm a solicitor by profession (i.e I am on the roll of solicitors, but no longer practise).  I immediately sued him for the money at the Belgravia address he had given, obtained judgement against him, but when I came to enforce it (by sending bailiffs round) they were unable to do so.

We did not meet Matthew on this occasion.  However, he really is quite brazen.  Unbeknown to us he popped up again some time later in our area, this time posing as a "Dr Brown".  He stayed in a holiday cottage belonging to a friend and again bounced the cheque.  On a third occasion he came up, pretending to be "Paris" the German boyfriend of Anderson Cooper [correction: this was years ago and I've now been told it was Richard Quest], a CNN anchor.  He weaseled his way into my best friend's home, had tea with him, and bounced a cheque at a local B&B which belongs to another friend, a local (genuine) Baroness.  He left a card in the church signed "Prinz von Thurn und Taxis" and test drove a second hand Aston Martin from a local garage trading off his "friendships" locally. 

Because we had never met "Sir Matthew" or "Dr Brown" it took some time to piece all of this together.  An email to CNN security confirmed that the person who had turned up was most definitely not Richard Quest's boyfriend.  The local café owners had met "Dr Brown" and when we showed them a picture of "Sir Matthew" they confirmed it was the same person. We visited our local police station and gave interviews and an official statement in April 2009.  The matter was passed to Stowmarket CID and we were informed that Matthew was due to report to Peterborough Police Station because of other trouble he was involved in.  We heard nothing further.

Matthew on Twitter

Then, in the Spring of 2011 a curious character called Banffers QC appeared on Twitter.  He managed to take in a fair chunk of the London legal tweeting community.  His account began to become quite abusive about gay people and more and more fantastical, which led to my "outing" him as a fake by a blog post on 8 May 2011.  What is not on that post is the fact I found out subsequently he had taken in students of law, to whom he offered pupillages "at his chambers".  It is so easy to dismiss Twitter fakery as "harmless fun" - in their case they were devastated by the fraud.

Banffers admitted to me that he and the "blonde bf" were frauds by an email from an account called "Sebastian Comte de Polignac" (note: according to his fake Wiki entry he is in a civil partnership with a "Sebastian Innes-Kerr").  He lives in an absolute fantasy world of aristocratic titles and noble lineages.  At this point I had no idea Banffers and the fraud who had turned up in Suffolk were the same person.

Matthew said I did him a favour in exposing him.   It was not enough to keep him off Twitter for long, however.  He reappeared in the summer of 2011.  With his new persona he claimed to be a Tea Party US republican fund raiser and the chairman of an organisation called Matthew Pac ("The Fund for the New American Century")


I found out about this new account over a drink with a very bright young barrister pal, Adam.  Adam said he suspected Matthew was in fact Banffers QC.  I went to follow the Twitter account and found that I'd been pre-emptively blocked without having had any interactions.  This struck me as very odd.  The account was full of Banffers like pretension: Matthew claimed to have attended 911 commemorations separately with both David Cameron and the Prince of Wales.  It spouted forth very right wing Tea Party views and appeared fantastical and disturbed.

We checked the website domain details for MattPac and discovered it was registered to Icehome, the company he had supposedly been left in his father's will.  The registered email was an Icehome BT internet account.  That is rather odd for a New York registered political fundraising organisation.  A few more checks (my friend Gary helped me this time) showed that 81st Street is in 10024, not 10012, and it is either West or East.  The phone number doesn't have the correct number of digits for a NY number.  We wondered whether Sandra Howard exists, or whether he just liked the name of the wife of the former Tory leader.

This fake encyclopedia entry gave details of "Sir Matthew's" heritage.  It states he married Renate Ingeborge de Unger, who this time is his wife, not his mother or his secretary.  It also says he graduated from Aberdeen, not Buckingham, as the Wikipedia entry did.  I did some googling and found that Matthew de Unger Brown was claiming to be the 10th Lord Banff on Facebook (the account has since been deleted, but I took a screenshot at the time).  Lord Banff is in fact an extinct Scottish title.

Yup, we now had a definite link between Banffers QC and Matthew Brown - this was then confirmed when Adam said he had received emails from Banffers from the Icehome BT email account.

Matthew Goes Off Twitter

I contacted Matthew by email at his "MattPac" website.  I asked if the American authorities were aware of his prior fraud conviction.  I asked if the political "fund raising" organisation was real, and whether the Federal Authorities might be interested in hearing about it if it were not.  Matthew responded saying he was sorry for everything and he would delete the website and his latest fake Twitter account.  A Wikipedia entry relating to MattPac definitely did go.  He had befriended lots of my friends on Twitter (it seems he always targets gays and lawyers) and he promised never to come near them or me again.

He said he was in fact on disability benefit and would pay back, at £25 per week, the money he owed pursuant to the CCJ.  I had my doubts about elements of his story (they were confirmed by a magistrate friend), but was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Yes, he'd fraudently weasled his way and exploited the hospitality and good will of my friends and conned me out of money, but I did not want to cause him unnecessary suffering if he was genuinely sorry and willing to make amends.  I did not write this blog at that time for those reasons.

All was well until he started missing payments for various reasons, then stopped paying entirely this Spring.  I contacted him twice by email: he didn't bother to reply.

More Twitter Fakery

This weekend my boyfriend showed me an odd looking account on Twitter: it was a young Earl called Henry Mountbatten (Lord Medina).  Separately I was DMd about it from someone else who had their suspicions it was the return of the infamous Lord Credo who had tricked so many people.

One look down the account, with its pretentious name dropping, mention of cooks and butlers, and the number of gay men it followed, and I had suspected it was Matthew once more.  Further, it was set up on 7 May 2011 (the exact weekend of the Bannfers exposé) and didn't tweet for some months after that date.  It had 1156 followers, which from 594 tweets is impressive.  There were conversations with three separate barristers and even a tweet from the chair of LGBTory and Conservative candidate for Manchester Central wishing him happy birthday.

I therefore decided to call bullshit and tweeted the following last night.  There was no denial or response from the account, but within minutes the real life Matthew Brown mysteriously emailed me out of the blue and asked "Peter. How much do I still owe you? I will settle it tonight/tomorrow if you confirm an amount."  That would seem to me to be a little too much of a coincidence straight out of the blue and seems quite obviously linked to my tweet: either Matthew was randomly following my every tweet or he had received the @ notification, directly or from a friend running the account.

There is an actual Henry Mountbatten.  A quick search on Tattler reveals that he looks nothing like the young guy whose pictures appeared on the account.  He has a sister who is on Twitter.  Her account looks entirely genuine: no pretension, just tweets mainly about equestrianism, which is clearly her passion.  I copied her in on a tweet, asking if she was aware of the account and said "presumably this is your brother".  A few moments later the Henry Mountbatten account was deleted.  It has since returned and has admitted it is a fraud.

Matthew swears to me he is not behind this account.  I don't honestly know and unlike in the other instances I do not have "proof".  However it surprise me if there were not a link.  If there isn't it, there exists yet another person abusing the trust that exists on social media and in either case I'm fairly sure the real Henry Mountbatten would not be too pleased about it. 

PCC Mervyn Barrett Involvement

And finally we come back to Matthew Brown's involvement with the Lincolnshire PCC candidate, Mervyn Barrett.  All the time Matthew was pretending to me to be on disability benefits, he was in fact working for Mervyn.  I'm not sure that the Telegraph got the story entirely right.  I think, for the reasons above, there is a strong likelihood that the fundraising group MattPac doesn't exist and it is another figment of Matthew's imagination.  If you like, the Telegraph may have exposed a fraudster, but only by feeding into and believing another fraud of his. [UPDATE: Andrew Gilligan has accepted that MattPac is not registered with the US Federal Election Commission.]

Mervyn is, I am told, a man of great integrity.  He appears to be an unwitting victim of Matthew Brown's never-ending fraud.  Mervyn has been in the press before regarding his fake followers on Twitter: the Telegraph reported that his account soared from 330 followers on 28 June to 17,014 by 9 July this year, with his new followers largely from Latin America, southeast Asia and the United States.  A source close to his campaign told the Sunday Times: “We think perhaps it was the work of an over-enthusiastic supporter as Mervyn would never dream of doing something like this.” One wonders who this could have been.

I feel sorry for Mervyn, but nonetheless the position of PCC is one of great responsibility.  I have three specific questions for him relating to Matthew:
  • How did someone of Matthew's background (his fraud conviction and bankruptcy are on the public record and easily discovered) come to hold the position of campaign manager?
  • Where is his funding coming from?  Is it through Matthew's fraudulent activities, or not?  This is question the Telegraph quite rightly raises.
  • A final minor question is why he has hung on to his 17,000 fake followers?  It is one he still has not answered and again goes to his integrity.
I find it worrying that if all this had not come out, Matthew could have been in a position of power and influence over someone who actually held the position of Police and Crime Commissioner.


As I said out the outset, I write this blog not to "hurt" Matthew for the sake of it.  I don't think it's too wild a suggestion to say that he needs help.  He may be depressed, he may be vulnerable, but I think he needs to be held account for his actions.  He has hurt people and that is wrong.  I also agree with the Telegraph: Mervyn Barrett has some questions to answer and the voters in the Lincolnshire PCC election need to have a full picture on his campaign team and activities.

Therefore if you come across Matthew Brown, Dr Matthew Brown, Sir Matthew Brown, Matthew de Unger Brown, Lord Matthew Brown, Anderson Cooper's English boyfriend posing as a German, Sebastian Comte de Polignac, Prinz von Thurn und Taxis, Banffers QC, Lord Banff, or a Lord Medina who looks nothing like the real Lord Medina, I'd advise you to exercise rather a lot of caution.  Matthew clearly spends hours creating fake personas, fake Wikipedia entries, fake Twitter and Facebook profiles and at a guess believes some of the lies he has created.  He needs help, but we also need protection from the harm he can cause.  I suspect this blog sets out only the tip of the iceberg.

UPDATE 23 Oct 21.50:

Mervyn Barrett withdrew from the PCC election this evening at around 5pm.  A statement is due to be released tomorrow.

Many thanks to the third commentator below.  "SebsFoundation" is indeed a fraudulent account that includes pictures of Matthew (its "CEO") and purports to make charitable grants.  There is no record of it whatsoever at the Charity Commission website.  The name Sandra again comes up.  It is the familiar pattern with the account: Matthew has used it to follow a number of gay men and lawyers.  It is also rather odd that an official charity website should be interested in the tweets of gay porn stars such as Kieron Knight and Brent Everett.

The first person that @SebsFoundation followed is @EpicSebastian1 (an account which has not tweeted in some time).  It carries the profile picture that Banffers QC passed off as his boyfriend, Sebastian "Comte de Polignac". 

UPDATE 24 Oct 15.00

Many thanks to Helen, below, who pointed out this tweet, stored by Topsy.  Mervyn Barrett has deleted his Twitter account, but this raises yet further questions about his judgment.  As a reminder, @SebsFoundation (account also now deleted) is not a registered charity, it had no working website, and it followed, amongst others, gay porn actors.

UPDATE Oct 24 17.00

Here is Mervyn Barrett's statement on his resignation.  My heart genuinely goes out to him.  It would appear Andrew Gilligan's exposé did in fact jump the gun, although indirectly it revealed what a liar Matthew is.  The fact that Matthew was in charge of Mervyn's twitter account explains the tweet above.

UPDATE Oct 28 17.00

The Sunday Times has produced a full page feature (page 11) based on information set out in this blog and with additional research.  Matthew stands accused of having defrauded Mervyn Barrett of £100,000.  Matthew married a real life millionairess in her 50s, Renate de Unger Brown in 2005.  He was 21 and gay, she was in her 50s.  They separated acrimoniously, and she died in 2010.  Matthew took her name and passed her off either as his secretary or his mother (as can be seen in the Wikipedia entry above).  I have separate information, now verified, that Matthew was convicted of fraud in 2010 and was sentenced to 30 months.  He spent around a year in HMP Wayland in Norfolk before being released.

Sunday Times 28 October 2012

UPDATE 3 August 2014 Apparently he's still at it....
Sunday Times 3 August 2014


  1. This man should be in the coalition cabinet

  2. Are you sure he isn't?

  3. You have missed out his account in the name Sebastian Foundation twitter name is @sebsfoundation which is apparently a grant making foundation which is not registered and has never made any actual awards to anyone. Profile says: We're a grant making foundation that works to promote social inclusion, human rights and access to justice. Tweets from our CEO Matthew and Sandra his PA.
    Twitter followers clearly paid for, and there are pictures of that clearly prove it is him. A.

    1. If you look at one of the photographs posted in the recent tweets, you might recognise a certain face.

  4. Matthew de Ungar Brown has supposedly fled the UK.

  5. Most excellent. I have sympathy for everyone who has lost money, but the most important issue here is that this total flake managed to get involved with the police commissioner elections at the highest level. Where did the money for the plush offices, chauffeur driven mercedes and thousands of campaign leaflets come from. The trouble with these people is that they are very good at telling people what they want to hear.

  6. I also did some internet trawling after reading the first Telegraph story. Does the MatthewPAC job exist and why is it being advertised on the House of Commons jobs website? http://www.w4mpjobs.org/JobDetails.aspx?jobid=36742

    Matthew's twitterfeed from his now-deleted account: http://topsy.com/twitter/mdeungerbrown?nohidden=1&page=1

    Read third text box from the bottom: http://www.insidetime.org/articleview.asp?a=942&c=birmingham_privatisation__not_all_it_seems

    "29/5/2011 Matthew de Unger - ceo@igniteeurope.com - www.igniteeurope.com
    As the CEO of a company one of whose major divisons is dedicated to the the rehabilitation of ex-offenders I am horrified to read the comments of the POA member above. As you might expect I am a big fan of privatised prisons - the reality is that private companies have a motivation to achieve results the like of which the public sector can never mirror.

    It might also interest the Prison Officer who commented, so offensively in my view, that I also agree private prisons are more humane. That surely is to be applauded"

    in conjunction with: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:7Ihly7EhCgYJ:www.alfaowner.com/Forum/way-off-topic/291974-whats-the-best-way.html+%22igniteeurope.com%22&cd=11&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

  7. Thank you for posting this, Peter: Matthew approached a charity I know a few months ago, offering them substantial funding via the Sebastian Foundation. We had a number of concerns at the time, but the information you've unearthed is hugely instructive.

  8. Good work Peter,have you thought of a new career in investigations? You'd do really well!
    However,Having got to know you a little through your writing & tweets,I know you always try to see the good in & care very much about people;hence your comment that this person needs help. Usually I'd agree with you but not this time,as you also said,he needs to be held to account.The man is a con-man,he uses people,lies to & steals from them in the worst way,by abusing their good nature & kindness.Conning is an awful crime,not only financially but because it makes the victim doubt their own judgement & trust in others,it knocks their emotional well-being off kilter,it is very cruel.
    He should be arrested and locked up,before he hurts his next victim.Thankyou for warning people.

  9. 25 May 2012, Mervyn Barrett announced: "I am also incredibly pleased to say that I have been asked to become a trustee of @SebsFoundation"


  10. The conflicting "facts" go on and on; how about Le Rosey, LSE and St Andrews: http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1u0wq/FirstElevenJuniorEdi/resources/23.htm

    1. I actually rang the publishing company and told them just who they were dealing with!

    2. Hi got kicked out of LSE, I believe, after defrauding a load of his friends at university! He didn't pay his hall fees, stole post, belongings and cash... Not a popular bloke.

  11. He must be related to Jeffrey Archer.
    Sounds great fun and hasn't committed a crime but not paid his bills. Definitely should be a politician.
    I'm not he, I'm a she.

  12. He may committed a crime police will decide. Many doubt Mr Barrett's account of how he was duped, but it is important to bear in mind even successful businessmen can be duped. Otherwise 419 fraud would never occur.

  13. Astonishingly in-depth, investigative journalism Peter - well done.

  14. Hi Peter - I'm a journalist who has been asked to look into Matthew's past. My name is Jonathan Brown and I work for The Independent. We have been following the Mervyn Barrett saga since the Telegraph story. Are you up for a chat? I'm on j.brown@independent.co.uk or 07740 582279

  15. http://thepolicedebatingdirective.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/definition-of-pcc.html
    Peter this may interest you. This Police blogger was unaware that he was actually dealing with Matthew rather than Mervyn Barrett who took the blame.

  16. Extraordinary saga! I was once fooled by such a "con-man", an extremely handsome chap who yearned to escape his parents' two-up-two-down in north Manchester and become one of those aristocratic gentlemen portrayed in lavish BBC period dramas! He pulled it off. Before fooling me he'd fooled half of West London while at the same time working posh West End hotels as a male whore! He eventually came a cropper, went back to his parents, got himself a job as a filing clerk in the Inland Revenue, but then proceeded to hoodwink the "gentry" of Manchester . . . until one of us did some detective work and found out we were dealing with a pathological liar.

    I partly blame the English class system and the media Nonsense like "Downton Abbey" offers people an illusion that some will do anything to make real.

  17. He has made an appearance in Toronto, under the guise of renting out a condominium, but thanks to your website, he did not get very far.

  18. As a follow-up to my previous post, as I am the realtor in Toronto who just posted his whereabouts. The Toronto Real Estate Board has put a notice out with all the details, in order that another member agent will not be subjected to the same thing that I had to go through.

    Approximately 30,000 members of the Toronto Real Estate Board now know exactly what happened and to be on the look-out should they be contacted in a similar manner that I was. Thank you once again for your blog, as without it my client and I would have wasted more time for nothing. He never would have gotten very far regardless, as my due diligence would have exposed him, but for only having to deal with it for the short duration is appreciated.

    1. Many thanks for this - which has now been confirmed by the Toronto Real Estate Board on Twitter (https://twitter.com/TREBhome/status/268102631266873344).

      It's great to know that responsible, sourced blogging can achieve this type of result and reach. He is wanted by the UK Police for a £100,000 fraud and I would not wish him on any landlord.

  19. You are welcome Peter, but I am the one who really has you to thank, so let's call it a mutual admiration society. Keep up the great work!

  20. Saw him Toronto Canada today

  21. Where was he seen in Toronto? What was he doing?

  22. Hanging out in Yorkville

  23. Spends a lot of time at the Oxley Pub.

  24. Dear blogger. I really would like to speak to you. I know Matthew Brown personally, unfortunately, however I will be able to authenticate some of the above information. Please write a way that I might contact you on this blog?
    It is a real pleasure to see this blog.
    Many thanks

  25. F.Y.I. I put an offer in to lease for a client for another condo in Yorkville, and prior to that mentioned to the listing agent about my horrid experience with him. It turns out she was approached as well, and told me that she recognized he was not legitimate, and since found out that he was thrown out of the hotel in Yorkville that he was staying at, so right now, his wherabouts are unknown, at least from my knowledge.

  26. In February 2009 Matthew stayed in 3 different hotels, that we owned in Scotland and, yes, each of his cheques bounced. He came with a friend and a chauffeur/security officer, both charming and entirely innocent of Matthew's web of deceit. Everyone just got swept along with his story, it did sound fanciful looking back on it, but if our hindsight can help others then, blogs like this are great. The Police already have a long record on Matthew and he has spent time in prison but obviously he is out and up to his old tricks.

  27. my life was destroyed by my relationship with that man whom i trusted and believed in so very much the hurt that he has caused me finacially as well as emotionally will take many years to get over and as a result of him i find it hard to begin a new relationship with anyone ,thankyou for posting this blog im not at all suprised that he continues to de fraud people but it pains me because i know first hand the damage he does

  28. Mr Barrett had known Mr de Unger Brown for several months before he appointed him as his Campaign Manager. Anyone who has been in the company of Mr de Unger Brown, for a couple of days, would be left in no doubt that he is an extremely gifted fantasist. It took me half an hour on Google to find the October 2004 Standard story a few weeks after I met Mr De Unger Brown (several months before the Lincolnshire PCC story broke). I Googled him because the stories he told about himself and his life, while very entertaining, were frankly incredible and I became curious about his identity.
    The fact that Mr Barrett showed no such curiosity, or at least sufficient professionalism to check his references, is proof that he was not fit for the PCC role.
    Who knows what Mr de Unger Brown will call himself when he selects his next victim?

  29. Very good spy work Peter...

    When I first moved to London I shamefully admit I dated 'The Rt Hon' Matthew for a few months but soon grew very suspicious of these tales. He first told me he was a doctor and wrote me a prescription (which disappeared in the morning), he once even turned up to my flat with a doctors bag full because I was unwell. He often took calls from his mother who I now gather died quite a few years ago. He invited me to the opera in Vienna, his house in Scotland but whenever it would get close he would have to 'jet off' to the states for campaigning.
    He also told me about being an advisor to government. Working in government myself, I quickly realised they were lies. He also spoke of his time as a lawyer, his meetings with Vogue editors, as well as growing up at a Swiss boarding school. However, he never spoke of his charity work and I gather this to be one of the only true things he might have done. I think he has no family to speak of and spent Christmas day helping at a homeless shelter. He spent a lot of time in America and from what I gather now; he spent time in Prison and told his friends he was in the US, campaigning for Romney at the time.
    I am so relieved to read this and learn that my paranoia was actually all true, how glad I am I got out unscathed.

  30. I knew him at our Independent school in the Midlands, an oddball from the very start. How many 10 year olds do you know that would have a studio portrait photograph taken and give signed copies to carefully chosen recipients? Always good with words, successful in debating, lonely, detached and enigmatic but somehow totally plausible, his Housemaster would use him to show the parents of potential new students around. They were all totally taken in by this tall, well-spoken and apparently intelligent young man with his rolled umbrella and briefcase, so probably thought, “I want my son to be like that”. Be careful what you wish for parents! Matthew is a complete triumph of presentation over content.

  31. Without seeking in any way to excuse his actions, the underlying cause of his behaviour may be medical.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

    1. Yes, I remember thinking about that while listening to his tales of the boyfriend who was the captain of a nuclear submarine and his meetings with Margaret Thatcher. His aristocratic and political connections and his pile in Scotland where he regularly retreated by private flights. And on and on. At this point I already knew about his real identity from this Standard article and I wondered what it must be like to go through the day with the compulsion to make up (and maintain!!) these improbable stories about oneself. It can’t be a comfortable space in which to leave.
      I know he has hurt and cheated a lot of people, but I feel sorry for him. I think he needs help.

  32. Does anyone know where he is now?

  33. Currently, according to FB, calling himself 'Sebastian Von Anhalt' and 'working' as "Associate General Counsel' for a Defense Contractor, GDS.

  34. Wow, I thought my ex was bad with her stories!

  35. Any update on this?

  36. I'm glad to have finally come accross this blog.

    he has conned my sister and I in 2012 and we have suffered pain for a year because of him.
    I hope that a new case is re-opened into this and I have substantial information against him

    1. My advice would be to go to the Police anyway. When I did I found that there were a large number of people, including this blogger, who were involved in Matthew's cons at the same time; he had managed to keep us all separate, once people being defrauded start to communicate with each other this is the start of the fraudsters downfall. Any updates gladly received.

  37. Thank god for your blog ! Had a "date" with him (Sebastian Von Anhalt) recently and his stories did look crazy. I'm just wondering he can have so many Llyods cards with his fake name... He appears to be living in Marylebone at the moment. Watch out people !

  38. The problem with you lot is that you are jealous that Matthew has a big willy and knows how to use it!

  39. who's telling porkies


  40. We have a B & B near Oundle and yes, Matthew Brown jumped ship owing £240. This was in January 2009!!Got him arrested and as a result admitted 18 other offences. Appeared at Cambridge Crown Court - and still went on to carry out these amazing terrible fraud offences. Do the Police Authorities EVER talk to each other?? I doubt it.

  41. interesting reading:


    1. Posed as Sebastian von Anhalt and tried to commission Nicky Philipps to paint his portrait. Luckily was foiled when asked for a deposit. Plausible, but weird

  42. He lives in Marylebone W1H 4PP

  43. Is calling himself Sebastian Safra

  44. Seems to be in Sliema/St Julians in Malta with a much older woman paying the bills. Met him when I was out there recently through a real estate convention. Found his tales fantastical until I checked him out when I got back to London thanks to this blog.

  45. Matthew Brown is now operating out of Seymour Place in Marylebone, London, under the guise of Sebastian Maximillian Capability von Preussen, the only son of a "cadet branch" of the German royal family. I am telling his story because I don't want anyone else to be taken in by what Matthew has to say.

    Sebastian/Matthew and I dated for about two months, and at first I had no reason to suspect he was lying, and anything I did question, he had a very sensible answer to. He has been playing the same sort of persona for over a decade now, so he has had plenty of time to sort his story out. I began to suspect more over the following weeks, but was unable to uncover any evidence that he was not who he said he was. Finally I found this blog post, and it confirmed my suspicions. I asked him to meet with me and offered him the chance to come clean of his own accord, but he feigned outrage that I would accuse him of lying. When I began to list the evidence off, he sat down and finally admitted he was a fraud. He never apologised, never explained why he chose me as his target (I work for a charity, so hardly his perfect victim), then he begged me not to say any of this online because it meant that he'd have to change his bank cards and passports.I asked him to go to a professional and sort himself out, because he s heading for real trouble.

    Matthew said Sebastian's mother was a middleclass woman from the Home Counties who married well to his father, a minor German royal of the von Preussen family who had worked as a diplomat in Hong Kong and London, and now sat on a number of boards of companies. He often went on trips home to visit his family, and even showed on google maps where they had various properties, and brought home pictures of his dog, Florian. He concocted a story about Florian being ill and taken to the vet once, and was so upset, and had stories from his childhood that were in such detail, which he could recall weeks later, he was incredibly convincing.

    He said he went to La Rosey, the exclusive private school in Switzerland, and then went on to study at Oxford, though he had several years out of education where he'd been turned out by his family, had a drug problem, and went to rehab, where he met his husband Robert, who later died. He also said his brother had died, though he never went into detail. For work, he said his father paid him a quarterly allowance as he had just finished studying his PhD in constitutional law, and when he'd turn 30 he would be given access to a trust fund to set him up with property. He even had bank cards in his fake name, and spoke of his private banker in Gibraltar, who banked with Lloyds private equity, who handled his family's finances, and his assistant Oliver, who he found quite attractive. When I began to suspect he was lying, I tried to catch him out in several ways to see if my suspicions were true, including asking him about Oliver but changing the name, and he corrected me to explain I was talking about Oliver. He was incredibly well-rehearsed, knew his story to perfection and could back it up by providing obscure facts and name-drops that would be convincing enough for most people.

  46. He said he had worked for Romney in the US Elections as a fundraiser, and sat on the advisory boards (conveniently no Trustee Boards of any British charities otherwise I could have caught him out via the charities commission) and steering groups of several charities, and was a Board member of his private Family Foundation. He knew all about charity management, volunteering, CRMs, everything, and said he volunteered with Blind Veterans and sat on the advisory board of the Wallace Collection (which we went to see and he explained various pieces in great detail), and gave huge sums of money to several charities, particularly criminal reform charities and legal support.

    He also told me that he was a significant donor to the Liberal Democrat Party, and even had a signed photo of himself with Nick Clegg at his flat. He explained that he used to be a Conservative, but had moved to the Liberals over Europe. He could namedrop relatively obscure MPs on BBC, and spoke often about lunches, dinners and parties that he had with many of them, and when I confronted him about his real identity, he said that Nigel Evans, who he spoke about often and had a photo with, knew his real identity and still socialised with him. He even showed me fake internal Liberal Democrat polling data, and invited me to several political fundraising dinners.

    He also said that he worked for the Open University teaching law, and had just started, and following his exposure said that he genuinely did work for them, under a different name. I have been unable to ascertain the truth of this. Whilst we dated, someone tried to access my bank account to steal money, however thankfully the bank caught on and froze my accounts. I have been unable to prove that it was Matthew, and have no idea how I could otherwise I’d go to the police, but I find the coincidence of dating a convicted fraudster and con man and money going missing quite unlikely. Particularly after he sympathised with me, but called bank fraud a victimless crime.

    Matthew needs help, but he refused to accept my advice to go to a professional as he said that doing what he did “furnishes quite a nice lifestyle”. Do not feel sympathy for him as he knows exactly what he is doing, and will do anything it takes to get it.

    If you’re reading this for the first time, and starting to realise just how deep the person you’ve met’s deceptions go and are hating yourself for trusting him, and not seeing it earlier, I’ve been exactly where you are right now. Please don’t blame yourself. Matthew Brown is very good at what he does, and he is very charming and convincing, and has had over a decade to fool you. I’m just thankful I managed to figure out who he was before it was too late.

    Confront him, and post your story here to ensure that nobody is ever taken in by this con man again, and that Matthew is forced to finally get the help he needs. Don’t feel bad about yourself, and don’t feel sympathy for him. Just feel glad that you found out now.

  47. Hi Peter, I'm a journalist working on a book about con artists and would love to chat with you about Matthew Brown. Would you mind emailing me at maria [at] mariakonnikova [dot] com? Thank you!