Frank Abagnale Jr. | 8 Famous Impostors that Bamboozled Everyone

Frank Abagnale Jr.

Few criminal impostors achieve fame and notoriety like Frank Abagnale Jr. has; he was an impostor, con man and check forger. At the height of his devious career, Abagnale had assumed eight identities including an airline pilot, a doctor, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons agent and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice, once from a taxiing airliner and another time from a U.S. federal penitentiary, before he was 21 years old, and served fewer than five years in prison before starting to work for the federal government. He is currently a consultant and lecturer for the FBI academy and field offices. He also runs Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company. Abagnale’s first con came at age 15 with a gas station and credit card scam that ultimately left his father liable for the damage. He then went on to forge checks; impersonating a pilot and flying over 1,000,000 miles all over the world; a chief resident paediatrician in a Georgia hospital; a lawyer at the Louisiana State Attorney General’s Office at the age of 19. He was subsequently arrested in France where he served 6 months in prison, then in Sweden, before being extradited to the US, where he was sentenced to 12 years in a Federal prison. Abagnale’s life and exploits are the subject of Steven Spielberg’s "Catch Me If You Can" and a Broadway musical of the same name, both based on his autobiography.

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