Convicted fraudster and mother-looter Anthony Marshall was caught attempting to scam party-goers celebrating the building of the Titanic II. Marshall tried to hawk a century-old Astor family heirloom—one that he said was worn by his grandfather John Jacob Astor IV when he died aboard the Titanic in 1912. Turns out, the watch that Marshall was trying to sell never boarded the Titanic.
The real Titanic timepiece was purchased by a West Coast developer in 1997, who collects "luxury ocean-liner memorabilia." The provenance of the real watch begins when John Jacob Astor's belongings were shipped from the wreck to Nova Scotia where his grieving son Vincent picked them up. Vincent wore the watch for years, then gave it to his grandson, whose wife eventually sold the timepiece in an auction. Marshall disputes this, of course.
The 88-year-old fraudster is temporarily free while he appeals his one-to-three-year prison sentence for trying to steal $60 million from his mother, Brooke Astor. He attended the black-tie gala celebrating the Titanic II cruise ship last month. At the party thrown by Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, Marshall boasted that he could sell the watch for $1 million or the price of having no shame.