Infamous Con Man Found Living in Illegal Mountain Shack

James Hogue once posed as high-school student and track star
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2017 1:32 PM CST
Updated Feb 12, 2017 10:45 AM CST

(Newser) Time named him one of America's "top 10 impostors," and now James Hogue is likely headed back to prison after authorities found him living in a homemade shack high in the Colorado mountains. A police officer spotted the 57-year-old con man in the illegal shack on Shadow Mountain in September—he may have been living there for up to a year—but Hogue escaped out a window, the Aspen Times reports. He was arrested weeks later after being spotted trying to build a new cabin. Authorities say he had stolen ski gear and $17,000 in cash in his car. On Monday, Hogue pleaded guilty to felony theft and felony possession of burglary tools. He's facing up to three years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Hogue first made headlines when at the age of 26 he posed as a high school student in Palo Alto. The Mercury News, which has an in-depth timeline of Hogue's criminal exploits, reports he was discovered after an "eyebrow-raising performance" at a track meet. Hogue went on to pose as a student at Princeton while in his early 30s. He made the varsity track team and the dean's list, but his ruse was once again discovered during a track meet, according to the Washington Post. Hogue was also busted for stealing $50,000 in jewels from a Harvard museum while working as a guard in the early '90s and went to prison in 2007 for burglarizing around 7,000 items from homes in Colorado. (Our greatest con man remains a mystery.)

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