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Frank Abagnale, the hero of the movie "Catch Me If You Can", also lied about his life of lies? - Walla! culture


Has Frank Abagnale, known for his many fraudulent acts, actually lied to us all this time? Sources claim that his autobiography - as well as the film about him - are based on lies

The trailer for the movie "Catch Me If You Can" (Paramount Movies)

You know the character of the swindler Frank Abagnale Jr. from the movie "Catch Me If You Can" - a thriller directed by

Steven Spielberg

and starring

Leonardo DiCaprio


Tom Hanks


The film is based on a true story: Frank Abagnale Jr. became famous for the many fraudulent acts he did in his youth, when he forged checks in the amount of 2.5 million dollars and pretended to be a pilot, a doctor, a lawyer and a teacher.

In 1980, he released an autobiography about his life that was adapted into a motion picture released in 2002.

Now researchers claim that much of the information he posted is... false.

What made the film a blockbuster was the fact that its plot was based on a true story.

Avangel really managed to outwork everyone and steal millions of dollars, only to repay his debt to the company and become a consultant to the FBI through his company, "Avangel and Associates" - or so we thought.

A new report from the New York Post claims that Frank Abagnale actually lied about his life of crooks and lies as well.

Steven Spielberg, Frank Abagnale Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio at the premiere of the film "Catch Me If You Can" (Photo: GettyImages, Kevin Winter/ImageDirectK)

Frank is always happy to share the story of his life full of scams, whether it was at events, on talk shows or in his autobiography.

In his book, Frank claimed that between the ages of 16 and 21 he posed as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor in Marietta, Georgia, a lawyer in the Louisiana Attorney General's office and a sociology professor at Brigham Young University in Utah.

Most of us believed it to be true.

However, after attending one of Abagnale's lectures, Jim Keith didn't believe a word he said - so he decided to do some digging.

He spoke with author Avi Elin, who wrote the 2019 book "Deception" about serial liars.

Keith told Elaine that he couldn't shake the thought that Abagnale was lying.

As his daughter put it to the POST: "Like a dog with a bone in its mouth ... he was determined to show that this guy was a fraud."

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Frank Abagnale Jr. (Photo: official website, Courtesy of Paula Parks Campbell)

Keith is friends with a former police officer and criminal justice professor named William Toney.

They collected a file of documents ranging from court documents and letters from airlines, universities and government sources to newspaper clippings.

They reportedly discovered that only a fraction of what Abagnale claimed was true.

According to about 87 pages of testimony, Frank Abagnale did forge checks, posed as a pilot - and escaped from prison.

However, many of his claims were "inaccurate, misleading, exaggerated or flat out wrong" according to Keith.

He also allegedly found that Abagnale's impersonations of a university professor, a lawyer and a member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee never happened.

Not only that, but he couldn't have done all that work between the ages of 16 and 21, since he probably spent most of those years in prison.

If that's the case, then there's no way he could have cashed $2.5 million worth of checks in that time.

The arrest photo of Frank Abagnale Jr. at the age of 17 (photo: official website, Mt. Vernon Police Department)

Keith and Tony weren't the only ones who suspected his lies.

In Alan C. Logan's book, The Greatest Hoax on Earth, he wrote: "The time that Avgeniel was not in any prison amounts to about 14 months. Cashing 17,000 checks in that time amounts to 40 checks a day. It doesn't make sense."

AARP, where Abagnale co-hosted their Perfect Scam podcast, told the New York Post that he was "no longer associated" with their company. Not only that, the AARP website published an article in July 2022 claiming that "many of Abagnale's stories have since been debunked."

Since The movie came out Avgeniel doesn't usually talk about his past, especially not with reporters. When Catch Me If You Can came out in 2002, he issued a statement about the book and the movie that the author, the late Stan Redding, "overplayed the media despite the drama in some of the story... He always reminded me that he was just telling a story and not writing my real biography," he wrote.

Catch me if you can? I guess we did.

  • culture

  • fringe


  • catch Me If You Can

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

  • Steven Spielberg

  • lies

Source: walla

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