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the memoirs of a sleazeball
on 10 April 2013
This book is written by a skilful ghostwriter who's evidently very experienced in making it a snappy, quick, funny read. By the end, though, I felt slightly sickly and very angry against the 'hero', Frank, who seems to think that by setting himself up as every boy's cartoon book success story - fast cars, women, uniforms, power - he deserves our admiration.
If an outsider had written this book, looking at the facts, we would learn that:
- he got detected in every single country that he committed frauds in
- several of the people he boasts about fooling weren't in the least fooled by him - even he admits that he was reported as a fake by many of his stooges.
- he was lucky enough to have picked as his main victim the company Pam Am, who had extraordinarily lax security and auditing procedures, so much so that anyone could have tricked money out of them.
In other words, he was actually a rather poor crook, instead of the expert he sets himself up as.
My main objection is his constant repetition of the 'victimless crime' excuse. Yes, large companies can afford fraud loss more than individuals, and he makes a point of bigging himself up as Mr Wonderful because he on a couple of occasions sent money to make sure that someone he liked wasn't out of pocket. But he breezes over everyone else who he took for a mug, used for his own gain, and then disappeared laughing over. For instance, do we really think that a 20 year old boy who wants young women around him preening his ego so much that he targets schoolgirls, promises them a lifelong career with great salary and foreign travel, then gets them to dress in uniforms and stay with him in hotels? Or the numerous young girls he promised to marry, then cheated or abandoned, or his own father, who he conned out of $3,000?
That is the behaviour of a sleazeball in my book, not a hero, and if you think these actions are victimless 'pranks' then you probably have as faulty a moral compass as Frank has. Just because someone says he is a hero, and pays someone to write his story in an amusing way, doesn't actually make him a hero.