Who is Frank Abagnale?
Frank William Abagnale Jr. (/ˈæbəɡneɪl/; born April 27, 1948) is an American fraudster. According to Abagnale, he had begun to con people and pass bad checks when he was 15 years old. During his teens, he estimated that he flew more than a million miles deadheading while pretending to be a Pan American World Airways pilot. He states that he also pretended to be a physician and an attorney. After getting caught, he was imprisoned first in Europe and then later in the United States. He served fewer than five years in prison before starting to work for the federal government. Abagnale co-wrote a 1980 book on his life which inspired the 2002 film of the same name, Catch Me If You Can. He has also written four other books. Abagnale currently runs Abagnale and Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.
The veracity of most of Abagnale’s claims have been questioned. In 2021, journalist Alan C. Logan provided documentary evidence that the majority of Abagnale’s claims had at best been wildly exaggerated, and at worst completely invented. In 2002, Abagnale had admitted on his website that some facts had been over-dramaticized or exaggerated though he was not specific about what was exaggerated.