Did you watch the Leonardo DiCaprio film Catch Me If You Can, and think, “Gee, that’s a great idea. I think I’m going to try that, because Leo makes fraud seem fun!” Well apparently one Scottish kid thought exactly that, and started living the high life, con-artist style.
Reece Scobie, a “borderline genius” 19-year-old with Asperger’s, got a job at Thompson Travel in Perth, but only stayed on for two months. After quitting, Scobie continued to use the travel agency’s connections and passwords to book flights and hotels all over the world. With so many aliases even he couldn’t remember them all, Scobie jet-setted across the globe, staying in high-end hotels in New York, Atlanda, Abu Dhabi, Auckland, and Singapore, before finally being caught in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately for Scobie, his fraud added up for over £70,000, which landed him in front of a court. Scobie then, somehow, managed to convince the court to return his passport, which had been confiscated as a condition of bail. As for the crimes themselves, well, the police still aren’t sure exactly how he pulled it off.
Even Scobie’s own lawyer compared him to Leo’s life in Catch Me If You Can, telling the court, “While the life of Mr. [Frank] Abagnale was shown by Leo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, I don’t think the gauntlet thrown down by him was the same gauntlet thrown down by Mr Scobie, who was fairly easily traceable.”
Even though he committed major fraud and has been sentenced to 16 months in jail, I think we’re probably all on Team Scobie, here. We’d love to know just how he did it… though I think he probably used the Force.
- BTW Leo totally could have fit on the raft in Titanic
- He’s also in this The Best of Warner Bros. Thrillers collection
- And this French town has so much crime they want Batman