Neal Caffrey Biography - Early Life

Neal Caffrey Biography - Early Life covers Neal's life before the show began. The numbers in parenthesis indicate the season and episode that the information was given. For example, the pilot is 1.1 (Season 1, episode 1). For information about Neal's life since the pilot, check out Season 1 and Season 2. You can also find a page devoted to Neal's relationships (friendly and romantic) and Neal's aliases.

Early Life

Neal Caffrey in White Collar

Neal's name appears to be Neal Caffrey. It is unclear if it is or is not an alias. In "In the Red" Neal states his name for a lie detector and it was considered the truth without him having to use any techniques to fool it. But if it was his real name, it seems strange that Peter could find out nothing about Neal before he turned 18. (2.12)

Neal Caffrey's father was a cop. He died when Neal was two. His mother told Neal that his father went out in a hail of gunfire, taking down a whole gang of bad guys. Neal grew up wanting to be just like him, pretending to be like him and getting good with guns. He later learned that his father was actually a dirty cop. (2.12)

As a child, Neal was a boy scout, which taught him how to leave secret messages using lemon juice when he was a boy scout. (Suggested in 1.3) He also had a gap in his teeth in the second grade which prompted a girl named Britney Nicole to reject him. (1.5) Little else about Neal's childhood and time before he came to New York is known (even by Peter) except that he did not graduate high school. (2.2) He also did not attend college, although he has three MBAs and two doctorate degrees. (2.3)

Life in New York

Neal came to New York in 2002 or 2003. Neal had already master the art of bond forgery when he met Mozzie. Mozzie tracked Neal down after Neal swapped a card in a "find-the-lady" game Mozzie was running in the park. Neal showed him some forged bonds and Mozzie approached him about pulling a long con on Vincent Adler. For about a year, Neal worked for Adler at of Adler Financial Management. Kate Moreau was Adler's assistant. Neal also met and had formed a romantic relationship with Alex Hunter while working there. Adler ran off with a billion dollars before Neal could complete the con. (2.11)

Neal Caffrey and Mozzie

Unemployed and broke, he started pulling con jobs with Mozzie and Kate. Neal taught Kate how to con and the two lived together in his New York apartment. One of the cons that Neal, Kate and Mozzie pulled involved stealing the Falconer manuscript. Neal also may have forged some British Pounds. (2.11)

Life on the Run

After Kate broke up with Neal, he officially went on the run. He went to Copenhagen, Denmark, and The French Riviera . (2.11, 2.12) Neal met up with Alex in Copenhagen in an attempt to steal the music box from the Amalienborg Palace. Neal barely escaped. Alex was injured after from jumping off the gate house. (1.11) Alex ended up in a hospital in France but Neal never visited her. (1.14) Someone accused Neal of having succeeded in stealing the music box, and Neal never corrected them because it gave him street cred. (2.11)

Neal started to run big cons in order to get her attention. This included stealing the McNally Solitaire and Raphael's "St. George and the Dragon." (2.14, 2.11) Although Kate still avoided him, he was attracting other attention. Neal was also on the Interpol's watch list. (1.6) He also had the U.S. marshals looking for him along the Mexican Riviera. (2.7) He was planning on stealing rubies from Burma, when he got word on Kate's whereabouts. However, it was just a set-up to catch him. (2.11)

Neal's Capture and Conviction

Neal's nickname at the FBI was "James Bonds." Neal first attracted the FBI's and Peter Burke's attention after he cashed in two forged bonds in six months. (2.11) The bonds were considered "unbreakable and were made by Atlantic Partners Incorporated.[*] Neal cashed a third bond in order to get money for a charity dinner that Vincent Adler would be attending. This was the first time Neal and Peter met. (2.11) Neal was also suspected of counterfeiting, securities fraud, art theft, and racketeering. (1.1)

Peter chased after Neal for three years. (1.1) A year after Neal cashed the bonds, Peter had a sketch of Neal that he was passing around, but still did not know what he looked like. Peter also started asking around about some British pounds. (2.11) Neal kept making new aliases to keep ahead of Peter when he was on the run. (2.10) He never used the same alias twice. (2.11)

At one point, Neal stayed at the Palazzo Sasso in Ravello until he got word that Europol was closing in for a score he allegedly ran in Corsica. In reality, Peter had Europol leak that information to make Neal keep moving. (3.7) It appears that the FBI did get close on a couple of occasions since he once sent champagne to a surveillance van. (1.4) Neal had several phone numbers when Peter first arrested him. (2.14) When Peter became aware that Neal was looking for Kate, he used a man named Jimmy the Snitch to relay to Neal that Kate would be at a storage locker. He then set back and waited for Neal to arrive. (2.11)

[*] In Front Man, the company is referred to as "Atlantic Partners" but in Forging Bonds it is called "Atlantic Incorporated."

Neal's Trial, Conviction and Prison Life

Neal Caffrey in prison

Neal was charged with several crimes including art theft. He was found not guilty on all charges except the bond forgery. (2.5) Stuart Gless. the owner of the company that made the bonds, testified at Neal's trial. (1.13)

Peter also testified at Neal's trial. Sara Ellis, an insurance investigator for Sterling Bosch, testified against Neal at his trial. She tried to prove that he had stolen a Raphael's St. George and the Dragon in 2005. (2.5)

Neal received a four-year sentence for bond forgery. He served his time in SuperMax Prison in New York State in Cell Block E. He spent some time drawing. After midnight, he put a line on the wall of his prison cell for each day he spent there. (1.1) Neal had three months left in prison when he broke out. (1.8)

Criminal Career

Neal Caffrey's criminal career is quite extensive. Most of what we know has been alluded to without any real details. However, we can assume that they were committed sometime after he worked for Adler and before he was arrested by Peter.



Criminal Talents

Other Crimes

Neal Caffrey's Main Page Neal's Relationships Neal's Aliases Matt Bomer
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