Frank Abagnale

Frank Abagnale

From Con Artist to FBI Consultant

Oct. 6, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Student Senate will bring Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. to speak on campus October 7 at 7 p.m. at Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington). The event is free and open to the public. Abagnale, known for his history as a former con artist, escape artist, and check forger, is widely recognized today as one of the world’s leading authorities in embezzlement and forgery.

Abagnale conducts over 100 domestic and international seminars each year, instructing attendees on how to reduce their exposure to these crimes. In 2002, he served as the subject of the feature film Catch Me If You Can (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks) as well as the 2011 Broadway musical under the same title.

Notorious in the 1960s for passing $2.5 million worth of fraudulent checks across 26 countries, Abagnale began his life as a con artist at 16 years old. During a span of five years, Abagnale impersonated an airplane pilot, a doctor and an attorney, among other identities. He escaped police custody from both a taxiing airplane and a United States federal penitentiary before he was 21 years old.

After serving less than five years in prison, the United States federal government released Abagnale on the condition that he would assist authorities against fraudulent crime. Working with several banks, he began a legitimate career as a security consultant. He continued on to found Abagnale & Associates, a company that advises businesses on fraud. For over 35 years he has continued to work with the FBI, lecturing in field offices throughout the country. More than 14,000 institutions have adopted Abagnale’s fraud prevention programs. The widespread success has earned him millions.

Abagnale has published several books, including: Catch Me If You Can, The Art of the Steal, Real U Guide to Identity Theft, and Stealing Your Life.

For more information on the event contact Usman Siddiqui at

Contact: Natalya Grabavoy, ‘13 (309) 556-3181,