Scottish conman held in Iceland amid fresh fraud claims

Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Catch Me If You Can. Picture: Getty
Leonardo DiCaprio starred in Catch Me If You Can. Picture: Getty
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A SCOTTISH conman who was jailed for fraudulently funding a jetset lifestyle is being held by authorities in Iceland amid a string of new allegations.

Reece Scobie – who was compared to fraudster Frank Abagnale Jnr from the film Catch Me If You Can – has been kept in detention by Iceland’s Supreme Court over his latest escapade.

Scobie, 21, who has flown around the world using fake credit cards since he was a teenager, is understood to have been on his way to New York when he was intercepted.

The Icelandic authorities stepped in to remove Scobie from a plane when it landed to refuel in Reykjavik as part of an investigation into ticket fraud and child pornography distribution.

He was later released but re-arrested after further allegations of credit card fraud within Iceland’s capital came to light and he is now being held pending a trial in the country’s highest court.

In 2013, Scobie, who was just 19, was jailed for 16 months after he admitted carrying out a massive con to fund his “fantasy” globetrotting lifestyle.

He duped travel agents out of more than £70,000 as he booked flights around the world and rooms in hotels used by A-list stars including Angelina Jolie.

Scobie was in the middle of a jaunt to the home of Hollywood, Los Angeles, when his scam was rumbled and he begged the company he conned to pay for his flight home.

At Perth Sheriff Court, Scobie was described as a technology expert who was a borderline genius and had manipulated his expertise to carry out the fraud.

He was also compared by his own solicitor to Abagnale Jnr, whose extraordinary life story was turned into Hollywood blockbuster Catch Me If You Can. Abagnale Jnr, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, posed as an airline pilot to travel the world while taunting the authorities.

Solicitor Jim Laverty, for Scobie, said: “People may jot down their dream journeys on a blank piece of paper, but unfortunately Mr Scobie had the wherewithal to book those in real time in the real world.”

Scobie, of Rait, Perthshire, admitted fraud by obtaining services, flights and accommodation while employed at Thomson Travel in Perth.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that Thomson Travel had been conned out of £11,256, while Cambridge Travel were duped out of £59,878.

A lengthy investigation took place and it emerged that Scobie had stayed in hotels in Leeds, Manchester, London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.