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The life story--zingingly told--of a teenage imposter who once kited checks, had over $500,000 stashed away in bank accounts, and spent much of it on women and fancy cars--all before he was 21! Abagnale began his career modestly as a 15-year-old Bronx dropout paperhanging New York with overdrafts on his legitimate account; soon, though, he discovered that a Pan Am pilot's uniform and ID were sure winners for cashing false checks in his new identity as ""Frank Williams."" At six feet and 200 pounds, he could easily pass as a pilot; and for two years he hopped about the country ""deadheading"" between airports. When he decided to go to earth for a while in Atlanta, he fell into an act as a pediatrician, and was hired by a hospital to oversee interns in pediatrics (he'd let them do all the diagnosing and they loved him for it). When this at last got too antsy to bear, he took off and holed up ""in the capital city of another southern state"" where he passed himself off as a pilot on medical leave who happened to have a Harvard law degree; he was induced to take the state bar exam, passed it on his third try, and became the best-dressed gofer ever seen at the law firm that hired him. (Later, at loose ends, he became a ""sociology professor"" for a summer term at a Utah university.) Off to Europe, he papered the Continent, was captured in France, spent six months in solitary in Perpignan prison. And much, much more happened before Abagnale finally pulled a four-year stretch in the States and, released, turned to a lucrative career as a consultant on fraudulent practices in business. Richly detailed and winning as the devil.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap