Jeison Neck Jair Garcia is far from the first to assume a false identity to live a life of luxury, but he further illustrates just how easily duped we all can be. Much like the famous Frank Abagnale that Steven Spielberg’s film “Catch Me if You Can” was based on, Jeison took advantage of how trusting people can be by asserting with some fake documents that he was actually a diplomat from Lebanon.
Using only two pieces of documentation, one identifying him as Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon, and the other issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Jeison kept up the facade for several months, only coming under suspicion when an Army Commander Colonel heard him speak perfect Spanish and wondered why someone from Lebanon could speak so natively.
Until the game was up, he was put up in the best hotels, had dinner paid for at expensive restaurants, presented himself for lectures at Universities, had honored meetings with dignitaries from various cities, and was part of talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with other real diplomats and honored guests. “I came to the city in February and last year he had already come up with his false identity as an alleged specialist in human rights,” said the Colonel who discovered the ruse. “He gave talks at universities, municipalities, and the government. He presented himself as a minister of Lebanon and participated in conferences on the Arab conflict. His accent generated many questions, so with support from the Criminal Investigation Task Force, we started an investigation.”
Jeison defended himself saying that he hadn’t really hurt anyone and a judge agreed: he was later released. Considering this was his second time to pull an identity con and get off scott-free (he posed as a relative of a famous Colombian musician to get special treatment) I suspect this might not be the last scam we’ll see from Mr. Garcia. But he’s got about six more identities to assume before he can approach Abagnale’s record of 8. Myself. I’m hoping he does. I always wanted to see a sequel to “Catch Me if you Can”.