Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
New York City

‘Catch Me If You Can' Con Man Who Pretended to Be Army Vet Sentenced to 14 Years

A man who posed as a U.S. Army veteran and claimed to have two doctorates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison.

A judge in New York City sentenced Jeremy Wilson on Monday.

Prosecutors say Wilson pretended to be a wounded veteran in order to lease a luxury car and a $5,000-a-month apartment in the city's financial district.

The I-Team reported in 2016 that a search of his apartment at the time of his arrest turned up numerous fake passports and other stolen IDs, military uniforms, Harvard and MIT hats and coffee mugs, computers and cash. In some cases, Wilson even pretended to be a pilot for a major airline so he could score hotel rooms and bill them to that company.

He boasted of being just like the scam artist portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 movie "Catch Me If You Can," police officials said at the time.  

The New York Post reports Wilson, who also claimed to be the son of late Irish Republican Army leader Brian Keenan, wasn't going to ask for sympathy from the court.

Prosecutors say Wilson has no remorse, and has spent his entire life devoted to fraud. They say he has at least eight prior felony convictions for similar stunts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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