Frank W. Abagnale quoted in November 15, 2012 Edition of The Commercial Appeal.

Caught by Corker

The real Frank W. Abagnale, the identity thief played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie "Catch Me If You Can," warned a Senate panel Thursday about the dangers facing elderly fraud victims.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Special Committee on Aging, drew out the former swindler-turned-FBI consultant, about punishment for crimes against the elderly.

Abagnale, 64, who was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for check forgeries in the early 1960s, said a similar crime by a juvenile might now result in community service or a very short prison term.

"These are devastating crimes and people need to be brought to justice," Abagnale said. In his prepared testimony, he noted that by one estimate, $2.9 billion was stolen from financially exploited elderly victims in 2010.

Before leaving the Dirksen Senate hearing room, Corker thanked the famous scam artist, now a resident of South Carolina.

"Mr. Abagnale, I'm glad you're on our team now," Corker said.

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Commercial Appeal November 15, 2012.