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Teenage Con Artist Or Business Genius?

Posted 7/20/2009 9:38 am by

catch_me_if_you_can_2002_movie.jpgWhen describing the case of the teenage con artist Adam Tait, I was sorely tempted to describe the situation as a real-life Catch Me If You Can.  After all, Tait was able to scam the heads of airlines into believing he was a 20-something executive with a fleet of airplanes at his disposal.  Then I remembered that Catch Me If You Can was itself based on the real story of teenage conman Frank Abagnale, who scammed to the tune of millions of dollars while posing as an airline pilot, lawyer, doctor, and college professor.

Tait was apparently very good at his game, though from the sound of things he had help from Malcolm Coupar and the upper managers at Guernsey-based airline Ausrigny.  Turns out they were only too eager to join in with Tait’s proposed cheap airline.

“Some of the things he said were the sort of things that were indicative that there might have been some substance to his claims,” said Mr. Coupar.

“If they were real then there would have been opportunities for us to expand our business and that’s not the sort of thing we are going to ignore.”

Like Abagnale, this isn’t the first time Tait has done this sort of thing.  Reportedly, his father claims Tait was within days of booking a show featuring the cast of “High School Musical” at a 300-seat theater.  I suppose once a scam is found out, you have a duty to report it to the police, but if his ideas were this appealing… why would you?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to hire him and keep him working for you?  Or at least buy him out and take the idea?  If you can make money off of a scammer’s attempted scam, you should do it.

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