Robert Kerbeck’s juicy memoir Ruse tells riveting tales about working in Hollywood and Wall Street at the same time—and about committing white collar crimes.
In his twenties, Kerbeck, a struggling actor, found a job listing for a position that consisted of cold-calling businesses. Needing the cash, he took it. Soon he found himself deep in corporate espionage, working for headhunting firms hired by multibillion-dollar corporations that wanted to poach the best employees from their competitors.
Kerbeck found that enticing phone operators to give him names, job titles, and contact information for as many people in their organizations as possible was lucrative. Further, it took some acting skills to do the job right: he needed to use fake names, and plenty of charm, to trick people into believing that he should have access to the information he requested. Meanwhile, he took single-episode roles on television shows including ER and Melrose Place, bumping shoulders with the likes of Paul Newman, George Clooney, and O. J. Simpson. He eventually began his own business, cutting out the middlemen of the ruse, and raked in millions of dollars a year.
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—and not much punishment.
Robert Kerbeck bares all of his wild business secrets within the world of corporate espionage in his tell-all true crime memoir Ruse.
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