“Juan Pujol Garcia fought in the Spanish Civil War and knew a thing or two about hating fascism. So when the Nazis waltzed into Spain, Garcia offered his services to the British as a spy. When the Brits said they weren’t hiring, Garcia did it anyway, using his powers of pure bullshit.
Contacting the Nazi authorities, Garcia spun a tall tale about his fanatically pro-fascist leanings and desire to spread Hitler’s good word in Britain. The Germans hired him to spy on the British government, but Garcia took their money and moved to Portugal instead, sending his employees an occasional postcard with Big Ben on it and complaining about how rainy it was in England where he totally was.
Of course, Garcia’s entire job was to feed the Nazis intelligence about Britain, which he knew nothing about. So he simply spent his days watching newsreels, reading about Britain in the library, and compiling reams of secondhand bullshit and useless information. As if this wasn’t brazen enough, Garcia began recruiting imaginary sub-agents and building himself an imaginary spy network within a country he’d never been to. And he submitted their expense reports.
When Britain caught word that this guy was playing the most hilarious and epic prank in history in their honor, they reconsidered his request to put him on the payroll. Now backed by the British government, Garcia and his new friends continued to expand their totally imaginary enterprise to leech an ever increasing salary from the German government, almost certainly writing their letters in the grip of hysterical laughter and high-fiving. In the end, Garcia had scammed over $4 million in today’s dollars out of the Nazi government.
And they still didn’t catch on. At the end of the war, Garcia was presented with the Iron Cross for his faithful and dedicated service to the Third Reich, making him one of only a small handful of people who won medals from both sides in World War II. When he got tired of it all, he faked his own death and ran a bookstore in Venezula for forty years. No, seriously. “