I stole every nickel and blew it on fine threads, luxurious lodgings, fantastic foxes and other sensual goodies. I partied in every capital in Europe and basked on all the world's most famous beaches'. Frank W Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams and Ringo Monjo, was one of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and co-piloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as a member of hospital management, practised law without a licence, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks all before he was twenty-one. Known by the police of twenty-six foreign countries and all fifty states as 'The Skywayman', Abagnale lived a sumptuous life on the run - until the law caught up with him. Now recognised as the nation's leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale is a charming rogue whose hilarious, stranger-than-fiction international escapades and ingenious escapes - including one from an aeroplane - make CATCH ME IF YOU CAN an irresistable tale of deceit.
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(198mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
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UK Kirkus Review »
Now a film starring Leonardo di Caprio, this is the true story of the criminal activities of Frank W Abagnale, and it's a tale stranger than fiction. Known as the 'Skywayman', Abagnale cashed over $2.5 million in forged cheques before the age of 21. He was one of the most daring conmen, forgers, impostors and escape artists in history. Abagnale came from a broken home yet had a relatively easy upbringing with his honest and trusting father. The lure of attractive women and a luxurious lifestyle and the ease with which someone with Frank's sharp intelligence and seductive manner could acquire those things were the motivating factors that lured the young man into the life of a fugitive. He never felt like a criminal yet he became a conman 'of Academy Award calibre'. The challenge of being able to swindle his way to success proved too much to resist and he travelled across continents, changing identity and passing counterfeit cheques. He soon learnt that a uniform was a passport to respect and dignity and successfully donned a pilot's uniform and co-piloted a Pan Am jet. His other outrageous scams included masquerading as the supervising resident of a hospital, practising law without a licence and passing himself off as a college sociology professor. His adventures make very entertaining reading and it is difficult not to admire his nerve and intelligence. Abagnale led a life of luxury while on the run from police in 25 different countries and across the United States but it all came to a grim end when he decided to 'retire' to France, aged 20. Identified by an ex-lover, he was thrown into a French prison where he was stripped, starved and forced to live in solitary confinement in filth and complete darkness for six months. Only the imagination that had once fuelled his crimes kept him from descending into madness. He was eventually removed to Sweden where he was treated for double pneumonia and severe malnutrition but then faced the prospect of being a wanted man across the globe and further imprisonment. His subsequent escapes from the authorities were characteristically audacious and make fascinating and hilarious reading. He was finally captured and forced to pay for his crimes in the US in 1971. Since then, Abagnale has turned his life around to become a successful white-collar crime specialist, lecturing on counterfeiting and secure documents. Today he teaches the FBI Academy and is the founder of a secure-document corporation in Washington DC. The book ends with an interview with the man himself, who reflects on his early life and the lessons he has learned. Unmissable. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Stan Redding
After a life of crime, Frank Abagnale has cleaned up his act. As the founder of an anit-fraud corporation he lectures regularly to top executives nationwide from the Department of Justice to the American Institute of Banking and has run over 3000 programmes in 22 years. He is also the author of another book entitled THE ART OF STEAL.