Man who inspired movie 'Catch Me If You Can' to speak at Cal Poly

A con-artist-turned-fraud-investigator who inspired the movie “Catch Me If You Can” will speak at Cal Poly on Feb. 15, according to university officials.

Frank W. Abagnale will appear at the Performing Arts Center’s Cohan Center at 7:30 p.m.

Between the ages of 16 and 21, Abagnale successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician.

He cashed $2.5 million in fraudulent checks before his arrest by the French police when he was 21 years old. He served prison time in French, Swedish and U.S. prisons.

But after five years, Abagnale was released on the condition that he’d help the federal government by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies.

His story inspired a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Abagnale, and Tom Hanks, the investigator who trailed him.

Abagnale now is one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents.

For more than 30 years, he has worked with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world, most notably the FBI.

To buy tickets, call 756-2787 or go to www.calpolyarts.org.