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Tales of a con artist PDF Print E-mail
By Eskedar Kifle   
Monday, 30 June 2014 08:34

The movie ‘Catch me if you can’ has been on my mind the last few weeks as has the story of Samuel Zemichael, the man that allegedly has been convincing people about things that are not true.
Samuel’s face has already been splashed on the front pages of some newspapers and magazines and the radio and social media all have gone mad over his story. Apparently, this gentleman has been telling lies about his educational back ground, his career and basically everything else.
He has been featured on the radio and has given motivational speeches to students. According to him he is also working under US President Obama while also maintaining a close relationship with Russian President Putin. Oh lets not forget, he is also a doctor (fortunately not a medical one) as well as an engineer.
Surely all this is pretty impressive and well…a bit unbelievable. I think if somebody told me they were in close contact with two of the world’s most recognized presidents, I would try and dig a little bit deeper to see if that information was really true because it just sounds too good to be.
Now, I am in no way implying  that the recent reports about this  guy are true and that he is a complete fraud. How would I know? He could really be buddies with Putin, why not!  
But if this whole thing turns out not to be true and if everything he has been saying about everything turns out to be absolute and utter lies, we shouldn’t point the finger at the man, we should point it at everyone else who believed him, the media, the schools he gave speeches at and everybody else who has been part of the Oscar worthy production.
In the beginning, the reason I brought up the movie ‘Catch me if you can’ is because the main character of the film Frank William Abagnale, sort of reminded me of Samuel’s case. In the movie Frank is an American security consultant known for his history as a former confidence trickster, check forger, and impostor. This guy assumed around eight identities including a pilot, a doctor, a US Bureau of Prisons agent and a lawyer.  
So this guy one day decides that he wanted to fly around the world for free and decides to impersonate a pilot for Pan American World Airways. Pan American estimated that between the ages of 16 and 18, Frank flew over 1,600,000 km on over 250 flights and flew to 26 countries. He did not know the first thing about flying an aircraft; he just had the confidence and never took control of the plane.
All that was just the tip of the ice-burg, Frank goes on to do many more things, serves prison time in France, Sweden and then the  US where he is currently a consultant and lecturer for the FBI academy and field offices, according to some reports.
So when we come to our own person of controversy, from my perspective, it seems like he has more fans than not. Although they believe that this guy has not said a single thing that is true, they still admired his ability to persuade and his confidence.
Like Frank Abagnale, our own Samuel will probably become famous and maybe even have movies made about him. When you really think about it, this guy (If it turns out the stories about him are true) is not doing anything that is different than what most people are doing. He is trying to move up in the world without actually going through the process of hard work; he is not bothered by the consequences.  
A lot of people hold fake documents especially when it comes to education. In this country, one can earn a diploma in; let’s say nursing, with out actually learning anything. With money, we can all basically become, doctors, engineers and many, many other things. The consequences of that in the future will be devastating

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Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 08:45



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