Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One man was able to become an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer all before the age of 21

Ohio State catches Frank Abagnale for lecture on life, time in FBI

The Ohio Union Activities Board collaborated with the Security and Intelligence Club to welcome Frank Abagnale, a former con artist turned FBI consultant, Monday evening in the Ohio Union Performance Hall. Students had the opportunity to hear about Abagnale’s life and criminal career.

Abagnale said his life in fraudulence began when he had an idea to pose as an airline employee.

“I could pose as a pilot. I could travel all over the world for free. I probably could get anybody, anywhere to cash a check for me,” Abagnale said.

In order to pose as a pilot, Abagnale needed an official identification card marked with the airline’s symbol.

Abagnale found a company that made identification cards for carrier airlines, and he pretended to be a purchasing officer for a major U.S. carrier airline. After talking to a sales representative who was there at the company, the representative was able to make him a mock sample card on the system with Abagnale’s picture on it.

However, the plastic card did not have the symbol of the airline’s logo on it. Abagnale used decal sheets off a model airplane to plant the tiny logo from the sheet to his fake card.

Instead of going on Pan Am aircraft, he would instead ride on the jump seat, the seat behind the captain of the plane, of other aircraft to get to other destinations around the world. While he was a pilot, he would also cash in personal fraudulent checks of $100 as a personal employee of the airline.

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