Sunday, January 17, 2010

Catch Me If You Can (Redux)

It's Bromley in Kent in the 1960s. School leaver Yolande Abagnale Jr. idolises her mother, who's in trouble with Inland Revenue. Yolande takes up a fast-track management post at Sainsbury's, vowing to set the family on a more sound financial footing. Eventually she is forced to leave after being accused of financial misdeeds. She sets up a dance company and an education & training company, but both fail leaving massive debts. Despite this, Yolande is able to purchase a detached house in Chislehurst and drive a top-of-the-range Mercedes. She moves in with the CEO of a marketing & communications firm, but is evicted after more financial misconduct.
Yolande ends up living rent-free in a refuge hostel in Streatham, after masquerading as the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her partner in Tulse Hill. It's her first successful acting role, earning her the nickname 'Bashy' and leading on to several further acts of violence and subterfuge. Yolande relocates to Northamptonshire where she is alleged to have assaulted her new partner by stabbing him with the point of a winklepicker shoe, leaving him with a severe head injury. Fearing arrest, she flees back to London where she finds a new partner, but several years later she faces charges of his assault and attempted poisoning. A trial is arranged at Bromley Crown Court, but during a break in proceedings, Yolande manages to stand on the shoulder of her barrister and escape through a lavatory window, leaving the barrister behind with egg on his face and substantial unpaid bills.

Yolande runs away to Hackney with just £25 in the bank, but following an interview on GMTV she is talent-spotted by Riete Oordinary, a film producer who offers her a TV series on BBC2. "Sometimes people say her behaviour is inappropriate, but that's just her Caribbean background", explains Oordinary, wiping the lipstick from his face. "She likes to hug and kiss people."

Abagnale is able to make a comfortable living by obtaining money from various individuals including the sad and pathetic Woody Alan, who hands over thousands of pounds in Hackney council taxes to the fraudster. Despite generous donations from Alan and numerous local parents, Yolande's lavish life-style soon results in her company Global Grabbers facing collapse. She closes her company centre in the West Midlands, leaving behind a trail of creditors including the presenter of the BBC's 'Gospel Show'.

With help from her mother, Yolande is able to establish an offshore banking corporation called Global Grabbers Education (Offshore) Ltd., siphoning funds from the collapsed business and leaving a bunch of angry creditors penniless. After defrauding several more individuals in Hackney, she organises "one-in-a-lifetime" holidays to the Caribbean for the children of poor families. Seizing thousands in booking fees, she flies off to visit The Reverend Moon in Korea.

Things are looking good for Yolande until she is exposed as a fraudster in the London newspapers, whereupon the creditors start closing in. Determined to escape the angry mob and at the same time to revive her flagging acting career, she has her head shaved, dons a Ben Sherman shirt, gathers up her children and heads off to Hollywood. Nobody is quite sure where the fraudster is hiding, or where she might pop up next...
Keep a careful eye out tonight

1 comment:

  1. Presumably Yolande was lead actress in James Cameron's Avatar?

    av⋅a⋅tar [av-uh-tahr, av-uh-tahr]; noun
    Descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or manifest shape (Hindu mythology); the incarnation of a god; a manifestation; a computer-generated representation that personifies a quality or concept.