A teenage boy has fooled British airline and airport executives into believing he was a tycoon who owned a fleet of jets.
The 17-year-old boy, from Yorkshire, claimed he was in his 20s and used the pseudonym Adam Tait to set up a one-and-a-half hour meeting with the director of Jersey airport.
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He was also in contact with other air industry executives about a plan to launch a cut-price Channel Islands-based airline flying around Europe.
Sometimes the boy also posed as David Rich or Anita Dash — Tait’s fictional colleagues — through phone calls and emails, The Times reports.
Tait, whose real name has not been released, has a brilliant memory but suffers behavioural issues due to a form of autism.
“He has been passionate about aeroplanes for about two years and his whole bedroom is plastered with them,” his father was quoted as saying.
“Before that he came within two days of bringing the US cast of High School Musical to a 300-seat theatre in Shropshire by cutting and pasting mastheads from one company to another, masquerading as this or that.
“It would have happened, except when booking the hotel some queries were thrown up. I don’t know why he did it. He is not nasty or vindictive or malicious.”
Tait’s airline hoax was uncovered after six months of fraudulent correspondence.
He set up an elaborate web of lies including publishing fake websites, articles in airline industry magazines and establishing virtual offices.
But he was intercepted by police last Monday while trying to inspect a 93-seat jet at Southend airport that he claimed he was interested in leasing.
They were acting on a tip-off from Airliner World magazine, which had became suspicious after running a story on Tait’s imaginary company.
No police action has been taken against the teenager.
Source: 9news (Australia)