• Germany edition
 
'Catch Me If You Can' con man stands trial
DiCaprio with Tom Hanks in the 2002 film "Catch Me If You Can" Photo: DPA

'Catch Me If You Can' con man stands trial

Published: 14 Nov 2012 16:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2012 16:26 GMT+01:00

The 33-year-old Palestinian man, charged by a court in Munich with 59 counts of serious fraud, was accused of persuading women to give him money under bizarre false pretences, Die Welt newspaper said on Wednesday.

Two women from Stuttgart told police the accused had claimed he was on the run from the Israeli secret service who were hounding him for disobeying orders in the war in Lebanon. He allegedly begged them for money so that he could buy an American identity.

He swindled them out of €19,000 and €17,000 each, wrote the paper.

Another victim, an employee of the French embassy in Berlin, claimed she lost just over €90,000 - almost her entire life's savings - to the man when he posed as a manager of a real estate fund looking for an investment.

The man, who in fact ran a failing pottery shop in Berlin, was finally arrested last year after police received a tip-off from a further victim in Munich who claims she gave him €230,000 for a non-existent real estate project.

When they searched his flat police found €144,500 in cash under his mattress. Two of his victims had been pregnant with his children and have since had abortions, wrote the paper.

The divorced father-of-one told police his shop had been losing money and that he had got into massive debt, but he denied having deceived his victims and claimed the money had just been loans.

He did admit during interrogation that he admired and would like to be like Frank Abagnale Jr, the real life conman played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can.

The man's trial is to continue in December when his victims are to give their testimonies in court.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

07:50 November 15, 2012 by Landmine
Most every time I read a story about a swindling case like this, there is always some woman as the victim who willingly gave the perpetrator thousands of euros/dollars because she was "in love"....

Wake up! If it looks like poop, smells like poop and feels like poop, then IT IS POOP! Pretty simple....
Today's headlines
Most Germans fear Russian action: Poll
Photo: DPA

Most Germans fear Russian action: Poll

Ahead of the Nato summit in Wales starting on Thursday, a new poll has shown that while most Germans fear military escaltion between Russia and the Ukraine, only half want to see the alliance intervene. READ  

Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'
Photo: DPA

Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'

Germany's agriculture minister warned on Tuesday that European farmers hit by a Russian import ban would not receive full compensation, ahead of talks with his French and Polish counterparts. READ  

Denmark, Germany launch joint patrols
A Danish officer (l) with a German colleague on patrol in a Danish squad car near Pattburg. Photo: DPA

Denmark, Germany launch joint patrols

Police officers from both countries will in the future mount joint patrols in frontier areas, both in uniform and in plain clothes, the sides agreed on Tuesday. READ  

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,439
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd