B-list actor, A-list corporate spy. Robert Kerbeck makes his money--his real money--by lying on the phone, tricking people inside multibillion-dollar corporations into telling him things they definitely should not. He's become one of the world's greatest practitioners of a unique, shadowy talent called THE RUSE.
Robert didn't grow up wanting to be a spy, he just wanted out of the family car business. To his father's annoyance, he found his escape in acting. But to support himself he needed a survival job. And before he knew it, while his pals were waiting tables, he was beginning his apprenticeship as a corporate spy.
Of course, the ruse job was only supposed to be temporary. He was interacting with Hollywood luminaries on a regular basis: drinking with Paul Newman, taking J.Lo to a Dodgers game, touring E.R.
sets with George Clooney, peeing next to Al Pacino. Kevin Spacey hit on him and Yoko Ono hung up on him. He even worked with O.J. Simpson the week before he became America's most notorious double murderer.
His once promising acting career tailed off as he burrowed deeper and deeper into the world of corporate espionage, to the point where investigators once mistook him for the world's most infamous hacker. His income jumped from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars a year. Until the Crash of 2008.
To keep from losing his Malibu home, he took his first job in corporate America. As an executive recruiter, he was suddenly meeting with the same CEOs and COOs he had only just recently been pickpocketing. But the backstabbing and lying done inside
Wall Street--often face-to-face--made him reevaluate what it meant to be "legit." Ruse
explores the lies he told, the celebrities he screwed (and the ones who screwed him), the cons he ran, and the millions he made--and lost--along the way. Kerbeck has never revealed his hand, until now.