A drag artist from Wales has been branded more ‘con artist than drag artist’ after cheating people out of thousands of pounds for non-existent Beyoncé tickets and Slush Puppie machines.
Lee Carl Dale, who performs as drag queen Leslie Lush, lied to people looking for a string of products after setting up fake profiles on social media sites and trading platforms.
He also took money from a cancer charity and splashed £1,500 on a credit card fraudulently set up under his mother’s name.
The 34-year-old man, of Port Talbot, Wales, faced 19 charges dating between 2016 and 2017 in court.
He repeatedly claimed to be selling Slush Puppie machines, for which he accepted partial or full payment from buyers, despite having no such machines to sell.
Dale offered to sell concert tickets to people searching online, including seats for a Lionel Richie show at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium and a Beyoncé concert at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
He also claimed to have bar equipment to sell, a rare coin for sale and a caravan for rent in Butlin’s – none of which he had.
In one of his most shocking scams, Dale responded to an online appeal for entertainers for a cancer charity concert offering to provide his drag act, a disco and a karaoke in exchange for £149 payment.
He accepted payment from the charity organisers, but never did the show.
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The court also heard that he set up a credit card using his mother’s details while she was away on holiday.
The first his mother knew of the card was when the company called her to verify a change of address, after Dale had tried to relocate the bills from his mother’s house to his own.
Police traced the location of the computer used to make the fraudulent card application to Dale’s home.
The Twitter profile appearing to be for Dale’s alter-ego Leslie Lush warns people to “beware of imitations book the best.”
The account has been locked as private, and the official website is now defunct.
Among the reviews for Leslie Lush online, one said “don’t book this act ever con artiste not a drag artiste,” while another wrote “still waiting for our money back!!!”
Judge Paul Thomas QC described Dale as a “thoroughly dishonest individual.”
He said: “Mr Dale, at the age of 34, you can best be described as a conman – a persistent conman though not a very convincing or good one.
Dale was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.