How ‘QAnon Queen’ Romana Didulo is scamming her followers

Although they escaped the cult-like grip of Canada’s so-called QAnon Queen months ago, two of her closest former supporters have had their bank accounts closed and say they could lose college funds of their children after having worked for their former sovereign.

On September 3, Corey and Daisy, who are married, received a letter in the mail from their bank saying they now posed “an unacceptable risk” and that their accounts would be closed. Earlier in the year, Romana Didulo, the self-proclaimed “Queen,” used their bank accounts to raise over a hundred thousand dollars for the cross-Canada VR tour she is currently doing.

After opening accounts at a new bank, Daisy said the institution told her she could lose up to CA$8,000 (US$5,952) in government contributions from their college savings plans. They try to fight him but don’t have high hopes.

“I’m probably going to lose my children’s education fund because of this,” Daisy, who requested that her last name be withheld to protect her children from retaliation, told VICE News. “We weren’t prepared for this to happen. It’s horrible because she [Didulo] cost us money.

For months, Didulo used the couple as a personal bank account. The queen cannot or refuses to use hers. Since being kicked out of typical crowdfunding sources, like GoFundMe, its subscribers have had to send donations by e-transfer. She posted Daisy’s email on Telegram several times – without permission, according to Daisy – and asked her subscribers to send money to her account.

“She would just do it. She’s the queen, so she doesn’t have to ask anyone for permission or ask me if it’s okay,” Daisy said. “What was I supposed to say? I was already engaged by then.”

In total, Didulo raised more than $142,000 CAD ($105,726 USD) during a two-month period earlier this year, according to documents seen by VICE News. And she spent even more, including tens of thousands on hotel rooms paid for on behalf of her supporters. Once they booked a room for $300 a night in case Russian President Vladimir Putin showed up.

Didulo was initially a low-level QAnon influencer and rose to prominence after the incumbent Q, the movement’s central figure, went silent. She entered the power vacuum and gained a considerable following by portraying herself as an active participant in the conspiracy, although she remained a fringe figure. Since then, Didulo has managed to convince hundreds of people around the world that she is the true Queen of Canada, waging a secret war against the pedophile and globalist elites. Experts have even called his group a cult. She is now in the midst of a seemingly never-ending tour of Canada, hosting small meet-ups in parking lots and spreading the word of their mission.

The excursion was not cheap. Didulo needed to rent or buy multiple motorhomes, pay for gas, and feed her “staff,” the rotating cast of a dozen followers living with her on the road. It also advertises the purchase of groceries for less fortunate members or the sending of threatening and false cease and desist letters regarding COVID-19 health regulations. Didulo’s supporters almost always sent donations for his causes, according to Daisy and Corey. But the need for funds accelerated when the Queen went offline and hit the road on January 29 this year.

“Thank you all for contributing to Queen Romana’s convoy,” Didulo wrote shortly before the convoy set off. “I was informed that we raised $25,000 in 35 minutes.”

Many of his followers, however, have little to give. Last year the Queen declared all utilities free and told her supporters to stop paying their bills. Now some are seeing their power cut or incurring escalating late fees. And even if their queen refuses to answer their calls for help, the donations continue to flow.

“She scams people into supporting her movement,” Daisy said. “She tells people to stop paying your bills because you don’t need them…but she says, ‘You can send me money.'”

“She scams people into supporting her movement.”

“Some people will say, ‘I sent him money last month, but I can’t afford it this month. I’m so sorry,'” said Christine Sarteschi, an extremism researcher who follows Didulo closely. “But there is a will among at least a critical mass of people, his supporters, who are ready to send him a decent amount of money.”

Just recently, Didulo supporters were tricked into donating more than CA$6,000 (US$4,467) when an account by the name of “Roger Stone,” one of the former president’s closest advisers Donald Trump, promised to match their donations. Stone, however, denied any involvement in the fundraising effort and called it a “scam”. The account has since gone black without matching any of the funds.

But it’s not just about donating; some of Didulo’s supporters are even actively trying to raise money for her. Earlier in the summer, a woman traveling with her launched a fundraiser called “We the People’s Challenge” to pay for Didulo’s new motorhome “as quickly as possible”. It’s unclear how much she raised, but the Queen’s supporters have been donating for months.

The We the People’s Challenge leader and a dozen others currently on the road with Didulo have given up their personal lives to live with her in the convoy. Some even left the children at home. They all wear the same clothes – white shirts inscribed “QR”, for Queen Romana – and believe their ruler to be an alien from a different dimension with futuristic healing technology. In a recent video where his followers explained why they joined them, several said they were on a spiritual mission.

While in the convoy, Daisy was Didulo’s bank account. She rented motorhomes with her own credit card and agreed to handle money transfers for Didulo. But Daisy and Corey left the convoy at the end of March after what they say were months of emotional abuse, including several death threats. Today, Didulo uses another of his most dedicated followers, the band’s driver, as his bank account.

“For those who don’t have time to go out and buy things, you can send money via e-Transfer, PayPal or Wise.com, at [her driver’s email account]she recently wrote ahead of her planned trip to northern Canada. According to Corey, a large portion of RV purchases and rentals are made on his credit card and those of other subscribers.

Didulo even tells his followers which question and answer to include in their donations: “Who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Kingdom of Canada?” The answer, of course, is “Queen Romana”.

Jess Davis, president of Insight Threat Intelligence, which writes a sub-stack on extremist financing, said such donations should be immediately suspect to Canada’s financial intelligence agency Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).

That’s probably why Corey and Daisy’s bank accounts were closed.

“It’s a very common method that financiers and money launderers use to distance themselves from money,” Davis said. “I’m not saying she’s doing terrorist financing or money laundering, but, like, this is what it’s going to look like at the Bank.”

“It is against the terms of use of most banks to do this kind of activity, to perform financial transactions on behalf of someone else,” she added. “Again, it’s really quite amazing to me that his [the driver’s] account is still open.

Daisy and Corey shared documents with VICE News showing how much was raised and spent during their time with Didulo. Daisy said Didulo raised a total of C$142,325 (US$105,957) from January 31 to March 29, and all of that except C$1,300 came from an electronic transfer. from its subscribers. The rest were in-person cash donations.

The group also spent almost as much as it raised, namely CA$13,214 on fuel and CA$26,703 on vehicle rentals. The documents also show hotel charges on behalf of its subscribers, to the tune of C$37,000. Didulo also bought a new laptop, juicer and clothes. She also racked up a phone data bill of nearly CA$3,500 over those 67 days.

Didulo and many of her followers didn’t respond to numerous requests for comment, but she did mention a VICE News reporter wanting to speak to her and her followers during a recent livestream.

It’s safe to say that the band’s expenses haven’t dropped much since Corey and Daisy left the convoy. Didulo bought an RV, as the band reported, for CAD$65,000, and added even more “staff.” The group also hopes to add another motorhome to its arsenal, but this will be purchased by one of its closest supporters and then ‘rented’ to the group.

While Didulo’s finances before she left on the trip are unclear – she and her “press secretary” ignored multiple requests for comment – she does not appear to have been the wealthiest queen. Corey and Daisy told VICE they once picked her up from a “pig pen” of a room she rented in the attic of a boarding house. In a previous livestream, she talked about being homeless and needing to sleep on the floor of her friend’s nail salon.

Now the convoy is Didulo’s home, and she doesn’t seem to want the journey to end, ever. And the only way to keep him afloat is to get his subscribers to send him more and more money.

“I think all of this would stop if people didn’t give them money,” Sarteschi said. “She needs it to function. It’s the only way she can go on. Without supporters and without money, she would be nobody.”

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.

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