A 20-year-old Spanish fraudster who managed to con his way through to social functions and get pictured rubbing shoulders with the top echelons of Spanish society, has been caught.
With his unkempt hair and fresh-face, Francisco Nicolas Gomez Iglesias - better known as "Little Nicholas" - had an entire Hispanophone fascinated by his legendary exploits.
Gomez even managed to wriggle his way past tight security to have an audience with the King of Spain, Felipe VI.
According to an AFP report, other famous personalities who have appeared in photos with him include Spain's conservative former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar and Rodrigo Rato, the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
Like all professional fraudsters, Gomez went to great lengths to pull off his elaborate stunts.
Miguel Bernad of the far-right pressure group Manos Limpias, who was hoodwinked by Gomez, said that the law undergraduate even had cars and bodyguards as part of the set-up.
The Spanish police compared Gomez with American fraudster Frank Abagnale, who inspired the movie 'Catch me if you can" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Detenido en Madrid 1 farsante a lo "Atrápame...":con chófer y placas falsas de policía, decía ser 1 alto cargo y agente del CNI para estafar— Policía Nacional (@policia) October 16, 2014
"Arrested in Madrid: one fraudster in the 'Catch Me If You Can' mould, with chauffeur and fake police badges. He conned people saying he was a top official and an intelligence agent," the Spanish police twitter account read.
In Spain where the mood is in the doldrums due to the uncertain economic climate, this frivolous news provided momentary comic relief, with many photoshopped pictures of him appearing on the internet, immortalising his impressive feats.