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Frank Abagnale became notorious for impersonating a pilot, a doctor, and a laywer. He was hired by the FBI to teach them his fradulent tricks.
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Frank Abagnale became notorious for impersonating a pilot, a doctor, and a laywer while in his early 20s. He was arrested at 21 by the French police, and later hired by the FBI to teach them his fradulent tricks. He started his own consultating agency, educating corporations, financial institutions and government agencies.
"What I did in my youth is hundreds of times easier today. Technology breeds crime."
"Why do the Yankees always win? The other team can't stop looking at the pinstripes."
"If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been 'Catch Me In Two Days'."
Frank Abagnale Jr. was born on April 27, 1948, in Bronxville, New York. He was one of four children born to parents Frank Abagnale Sr. and Paulette Abagnale. The couple met in Algiers during World War II, while Frank Sr. was stationed in Oran. After the war, they moved to New York, where Frank started a stationery business on Madison Avenue.
Frank Jr. had a happy childhood, and was especially close to his father. When his mother decided unexpectedly to leave his father, however, the young Frank's life was turned upside-down. Not only were his siblings devastated, but so was his father, who was still very much in love with his wife. Frank Jr. decided to live with his father after the divorce, and he often tagged along on his dad's business dealings. It was during this time that Frank Jr. learned a lot about white collar businesses.
As a teenager, Frank Abagnale got caught up in petty crimes, including shoplifting. He soon grew tired of this practice, though, and decided to move into more sophisticated forms of burglary. Specifically, Abagnale began using his father's gas credit card to make a tidy profit. Frank Jr. then convinced gas station attendants to give him a portion of his sale back in cash, and allowed them to pocket a portion of the proceeds. The scam fell apart, though, when Frank's father got the credit card bill, which topped several thousand dollars.
The incident caused havoc in the family; his father's business was struggling financially, and Frank's scheme set his father back even further. Tired of his son's delinquency, Frank Sr. sent his son to a private school for wayward boys. But school didn't stick with the young Abagnale, who left home at 16 to make his own living.
Abagnale left home with $200 in his bank account and no formal education. Using his knowledge of the stationery business, Frank altered his driver’s license to make himself 10 years older than he was, and exaggerated his education. This helped him get better-paying jobs, but he still barely made ends meet.
Using his checkbook, Frank decided to quit his job and write bad checks to support himself. Before long, Abagnale had written hundreds of bad checks and had overdrawn his account by thousands of dollars. Knowing that he would eventually be caught, he decided it was time to go into hiding.
Frank realized that he could cash more bad checks if he dazzled bank tellers with a new, more impressive personality. He decided pilots were highly respected professionals, so he schemed his way into getting a pilot's uniform. Abagnale called Pan American Airlines' headquarters and told them that he had lost his uniform while traveling.
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