Notorious Check Forger Frank Abagnale to Discuss the "Art of the Steal" at the Financial Crime Day Hosted by SWACHA and the Houston FBI

Houston, TX, March 17, 2011 --( SWACHA and the Houston office of the FBI have teamed up to host the 17th Financial Institution Crime Day in Houston on March 23, 2011, to help financial industry professionals reduce their exposure to fraud. Dallas-based SWACHA is one of the largest not-for-profit electronic payments associations in the country.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Frank Abagnale, the notorious check forger and escape artist whose story inspired the hit movie, "Catch Me If You Can." Abagnale will discuss the most brilliant ways modern-day criminals engage in check fraud and identify theft. He also will provide insight on how to outsmart them at their own game.

“SWACHA is extremely excited to host this seminar,” said Dennis Simmons, APP, SWACHA president and CEO. “Check fraud is an $18 - $20 billion industry in this country. Financial institutions must educate themselves on the latest methods of these criminals in order to fully protect themselves from serious financial losses. This is a must-see seminar for anyone who has a hand in the financial industry. Frank is a captivating speaker and the knowledge he will share will be extremely valuable.”

The full day educational seminar will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Houston Federal Reserve Bank. In addition to Mr. Abagnale, issues such as social security protection, electronic pick pocketing, interviewing and profiling techniques and debit card loss exposure will be addressed. The seminar will benefit managers of financial institutions as well as financial law enforcement agencies.

“The FBI leverages all of its resources to promote security within our financial institutions and defend against threats to that security,” said FBI Houston Special Agent In Charge Richard Powers. “Sophisticated schemes such as cyber-attacks, mortgage fraud, as well as traditional bank frauds are being successfully confronted through collaboration with industry professionals.”

SWACHA-The Electronic Payments Resource®, is one of the largest not-for-profit regional payments associations in the country with approximately 1,100 members across the Southwest. SWACHA is the resource of choice for financial institutions and corporations in the areas of education, training, payments system risks and knowledge about electronic payments. For more information, visit

About Frank Abagnale:
Frank Abagnale became a notorious con man in the 1960s by successfully stealing $2.5 million through forged checks across 26 countries, along with numerous other fraudulent efforts in which he assumed at least eight identities. His life story of a high-profile criminal on the run inspired the 2002 film, “Catch Me If You Can.”

In his mid-twenties, Abagnale was released from prison under the condition that he would help the federal government by teaching federal law enforcement agencies and assist in the prevention of fraudulent crimes in the U.S. Abagnale has now been associated with the FBI for more than 35 years, and continues to consult financial institutions and speak about cybercrime prevention.

Granado Communications Group
Chris Martin