"Faking It" - Elaborate Fakes, Secret Lives and Big Fat Lies on "20/20?
Airing Friday, January 11 at 10 pm on ABC
A high school kid with zero medical training who faked his way into working at a hospital… a man who brought air traffic to a standstill with a fake bomb threat… a woman who duped and scammed a Facebook community by pretending to have a son battling cancer… a man who faked his own death with the help of his son to collect insurance money… "20/20? reports on elaborate fakes, secret lives and big lies. "Faking It" airs on "20/20," FRIDAY, JANUARY 11 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. Reports include:
A Death in the Family: Raymond Roth went to the beach with his son Jonathan this summer, but only one of them returned. Jonathan told Park Police his father had drowned in the Atlantic, triggering a massive search and rescue effort, and shock and horror for Ray's wife Evana. But days later, Evana's grief turned to rage when she discovered that Ray was alive. Jonathan confesses all to Chris Cuomo in a network exclusive.
I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up: Cecilia Vega reports on how people are faking injuries, filing for compensation and taking taxpayers for a ride - until they are caught in the act on video.
Plane Hoax: It was just days before the 9/11 anniversary this fall when the Philadelphia airport went on terror alert. Someone had just called in a bomb threat on a plane. The jet was ordered back to the tarmac, and a SWAT team came on board and seized a young passenger named Christopher Shell. But Shell was no terrorist, he was simply on the short side of a tempestuous love triangle. Her new man, a pizza boy named Kenny Smith, was determined to humiliate him - calling in the fake terror threat in hopes of ruining Chris' trip to Dallas. Smith, who is now facing a year in federal prison and a potential $1 million fine and Shell speak exclusively to Dan Harris about their experiences.
Warrior Eli: They were a beautiful but tragic family; J.S. Dirr, the Canadian Mountie dad; the fetching wife and mother, who died suddenly in a car crash; and three-year-old "Warrior Eli," named for his valiant fight against cancer. For years, people had followed the family's ups and downs on the internet, forming relationships with the father, wearing wristbands in Eli's honor, and donating money for cancer research in Eli's name. But when one online "friend" became suspicious and started sleuthing, the whole family was revealed to be a figment of one woman's imagination. Elizabeth Vargas reports.
Pranks: Sharon Alfonsi looks at the wild world of pranking. What drives people to play such outlandish, humorous and often sadistic tricks on each other, and when do they go too far?
Catch Him If You Can: The young man's hospital badge said he was a physician's assistant at Osceola Hospital in Florida. He wore scrubs, a stethoscope, and examined patients while dropping medical terminology, even performing CPR on a patient who had overdosed. Months later he was allegedly cruising South Beach in what looked like a police cruiser, stopping other drivers to tell them to put on their seat belts. But Matthew Scheidt was neither a physician nor a cop - he was a fraud. Matt Gutman reports.
David Sloan is executive producer of "20/20?.
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