Wealthy Chinese businessmen met a fake "Rothschild", but Oliver Rothschild isn't the first counterfeit banking heir

Edith Hancock
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Reception To Mark The Prince of Wales Medal for Philanthropy 2013
British investment banker Lord Jacob Rothschild, pictured with Joanna Lumley, bears no relation to these Rothschilds (Source: Getty)

Bad luck for businessmen in China.

After a leading Chinese university and businessmen from the region spent months extending generous corporate hospitality and business lunch invitations to British businessman Oliver Rothschild, they have now been informed that he's not related to the famous banking family at all.

Still, who can blame Oliver Rothschild (of the Finchley Rothschilds), for the mix-up? He’s not the first to use his knowledge of the banking family and “charming British accent” to pull the wool over the eyes of overseas businessmen.

Back in 2010, Huffington Post blogger Stefan de Rothschild received international acclaim when news of his firm Rothschild Estates’ $2.5m (£1.75m) donation to relief efforts in Haiti made it into the Washington Post.

The only problem? Stefan de Rothschild is actually called Stefan Roberts, Rothschild Estates doesn’t exist, and every detail was fabricated by Roberts himself in a series of phoney Wikipedia pages. The hoax was so good, the fake Rothschild was even quoted by Reuters while apparently at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Huffington Post have since deleted the blogger’s page and old pieces on philanthropy, and Reuters has corrected its reference to Stefan de Rothchild's support of the Global Business Oath at the forum.

Two years prior, another Rothschild made headlines in Australia as he attempted to drink Sydney’s bars dry. In an email sent to publicists in the city, an assistant to Alex Rothschild-Reid claimed her superior “had recently moved from the UK to head the Rothschild’s media division ELOM Holdings”, and was looking for like-minded people to attend high-profile events with in Australia.

According to the Daily Telegraph in Australia the poser, who turned out to be Aussie-born Alex Reid, managed to secure several invites to VIP parties and events in Sydney, before a mystery woman outed him as a counterfeit heir. “He trashed my party last week”, the tipster told reporters.

A spokesperson for Rothschild Australia at the time confirmed that it had never heard of him, or ELOM Holdings as a matter of fact.

The Capitalist also knows of a former employee at City ship broker Clarksons, who posed as a Rothschild heiress in a bid to impress economics students while on holiday in Nice.

Sadly, it all went downhill when the boys asked what type of Lamborghini her father owned. “Err, the one in Akon's music video” fooled no one.

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