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“Kerbeck’s juicy memoir tells riveting tales [with] the thrill of a spy novel. . . Kerbeck bares all of his wild business secrets within the world of corporate espionage” --Foreword Reviews
"Robert Kerbeck has mastered the art of social engineering, or what he calls 'rusing', and taken it to a whole new level." —Frank Abagnale, author of Catch Me If You Can
B-list actor, A-list corporate spy
In the world of high finance, multibillion-dollar Wall Street banks greedily guard their secrets. Enter Robert Kerbeck, a working actor who made his real money lying on the phone, charming people into revealing their employers’ most valuable information. In this exhilarating memoir that will appeal to fans of The Wolf of Wall Street and Catch Me If You Can, unsuspecting receptionists, assistants, and bigshot executives all fall victim to “the Ruse.”
After college, Kerbeck rushed to New York to try to make it as an actor. But to support himself, he’d need a survival job, and before he knew it, while his pals were waiting tables, he began his apprenticeship as a corporate spy.
As his acting career started to take off, he found himself hobnobbing with Hollywood luminaries: drinking with Paul Newman, taking J.Lo to a Dodgers game, touring E.R. sets with George Clooney. He even worked with O.J. Simpson the week before he became America’s most notorious double murderer.
Before long, however, his once promising acting career slowed while the corporate espionage business took off. The ruse job was supposed to have been temporary, but Kerbeck became one of the world’s best practitioners of this deceptive—and illegal—trade. His income jumped from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year.
Until the inevitable crash…
Kerbeck shares the lies he told, the celebrities he screwed (and those who screwed him), the cons he ran, and the money he made—and lost—along the way.
About the Author
Robert Kerbeck is the founder of the Malibu Writers Circle and his essays and short stories have been featured in numerous magazines and literary journals, including Narratively, Cimarron Review and Los Angeles Magazine. His short story, "Reconnected", was adapted into an award-winning film and has appeared at film festivals worldwide. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and an award-winning actor. He is also the author of Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA's Most Devastating Wildfire.
“Robert Kerbeck flopped as an actor. But, as a corporate spy, he gave Oscar-worthy performances.”
--Michael Kaplan, New York Post
“A story almost too good to be true with no shortage of wild stories, Kerbeck winds every detail into an engaging, entertaining memoir."
"The book is gripping as it chronicles Kerbeck’s disdain for working at his family’s car business, his quiet acting career, and his descent into his moves against big businesses. The details of his sleuthing work are meticulous, but the book still maintains the thrill of a spy novel. Celebrity name-drops add flair to this tale of calculated crimes"
"With enjoyable, au currant language, and a sharp ear for dialogue, Kerbeck’s astounding story is fraught with tension, written in a voice both confident and accessible throughout an insider’s memoir so finely wrought, it reads somewhere between a heart-pounding thriller and an intriguing, finely tuned spy novel."
--New York Journal of Books