Frank Abagnale is an American security expert. Frank Abagnale’s net worth is $10 million. He became one of the most notable impostors ever, claiming to have adopted no fewer than eight identities. He was known for his background as a former check forger and imposter. The true tale of Abagnale inspired the feature film “Catch Me If You Can,” starring Leonardo Dicaprio as Abagnale.
Frank Abagnale Early Life
Frank Abagnale was born in Bronxville, New York on April 27, 1948 to a French mother and an Italian American father. He grew up in New Rochelle, New York, during the first 16 years of his life. When he was 16, his parents divorced. He escaped from police custody twice before the age of 21. Abagnale’s parents split while he was a child, and he frequently accompanied his father on business trips. Frank, Jr. learnt a lot about white-collar industries at this period. He became involved in little crimes as a youngster, but it wasn’t long before he moved on to more complex activities.
His first victim was his father, when he was only 15 years old. Abagnale began his criminal spree by using his father’s gas credit card to persuade petrol station personnel to pay him a piece of his transaction back in cash, allowing them to pocket a share of the revenues. When Frank’s father received the credit card statement, the scheme fell apart. Frank joined in the United States Navy in December 1964, but was released after three months and jailed for forgery shortly after. He was arrested for auto theft the next year in Eureka, California, after stealing a Ford Mustang from one of his father’s neighbours. Abagnale was photographed in the local newspaper, sitting in a vehicle and being questioned by an FBI special agent.
He discovered his ‘sweet spot’ in crime when he learned the technique of writing faulty checks and impersonating everyone from a doctor to a pilot, a fraud approach that lasted until he was captured in France in 1969. He was sentenced to four months in prison but spent only three. He was then deported to Sweden, where he was found guilty of forgery and aggravated fraud. Frank was imprisoned for two months, barred from coming to Sweden for eight years, and ordered to compensate his Swedish victims, which he never did. In June 1970, he was deported back to the United States.
After returning to the United States, Abagnale pretended to be a pilot and travelled around college campuses, claiming to be there to recruit flight attendants for Pan Am while passing bogus checks the entire time. He pretended to be a pilot and a doctor at the University of Arizona, and he conducted medical tests on numerous female college students who wanted to serve on flight crews. The FBI became aware of him after he began to falsify Pan Am payroll checks in five separate states. In November 1970, he was arrested in Georgia after cashing ten forged Pan Am payroll checks in various locales. He fled from the local jail and was apprehended a few weeks later in New York City. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for forging checks and an extra two years for eluding capture. He was granted parole after serving two years in the Federal Correctional Institution in Petersburg,
Virginia. Frank, unwilling to return to his father’s home in New York, left the parole destination selection to the court, which picked Houston, Texas.
Once his release, Abagnale tried his hand at a variety of occupations, but was sacked from the majority of them after it was found that he had been employed without disclosing his criminal history. In 1974, he pretended to be a pilot again to get a position at Camp Manison, a summer children’s camp in Texas, where he was jailed for stealing cameras from his coworkers. During this period, he also forged his CV, claiming to have worked for the Los Angeles Police Department and Scotland Yard. He made the decision to alter his life about this period, having a wife and three boys by then. The family relocated to Tulsa and lived in the same house for the next 25 years.
Abagnale & Associates
Frank then spent more than 30 years working undercover for the FBI as an informant on fraud issues before starting his own organisation, Abagnale & Associates, which also trains people on how to avoid being a victim of fraud. Abagnale also published the fraud prevention books The Art of the Steal and Stealing Your Life. Abagnale was selected an AARP Fraud Watch Ambassador in 2015, where he assists in “providing online programs and community forums to educate customers on how to protect themselves against identity theft and cybercrime.” Frank began presenting the AARP podcast “The Perfect Scam” in 2018.
He’s also been in the media several times, including three appearances on “The Tonight Show.” In the 1990s, he was also a regular on the British network TV show “The Secret Cabaret.” Steven Spielberg adapted a novel about Frank Abagnale, “Catch Me If You Can,” into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale in 2002. The real Frank Abagnale appeared in the film as a French police officer arresting DiCaprio.
Frank Abagnale Personal Life
His wife Kelly and he have three boys. Kelly proposed that she and Frank depart Tulsa when their children left for college. Charleston, South Carolina is home for the pair.
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