April 28, 2001 -- A high-flying grifter who used personal charm and the Rockefeller name to bilk millions off unsuspecting marks from Long Island to Los Angeles was busted by Canadian cops, authorities said yesterday.

Christopher Rocancourt, 33, and his Playboy centerfold wife were pinched Thursday night by Canadian Mounties and Vancouver Island police.

The fugitive Frenchman - also known as Fabien Ortuno - is jailed in Victoria, British Columbia, on fraud, theft and immigration charges from Vancouver and the posh ski resort town of Whistler, police said.

"There's a lot of things yet to be learned about him," said Oak Bay, British Columbia, police Sgt. Ron Coulls. "He obviously had several identities."

Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Suffolk County say they'll seek Rocancourt's extradition. They suspect him of making big money off a series of complex stock and real-estate scams.

He's been on the lam since last August, when he jumped bail in Suffolk County on charges of skipping out on several hotel bills.

Rocancourt enjoyed ripping off rich Hamptonites, and once targeted actors Mickey Rourke and Jean-Claude van Damme, police have said.

He's wanted in Los Angeles on charges stemming from a 1998 shooting in which he allegedly fled in a Humvee registered to the late millionaire Dodi Fayed.

The suspected grifter has allegedly passed himself off as a Rockefeller heir and once pretended to be related to legendary producer Dino DeLaurentiis.

His Rockefeller line was too much even for his common-law wife, Pia Reyes, a sexy ex-Playboy Playmate who was arrested with him.

"It's almost ridiculous to use the name Rockefeller - I mean, how can you believe someone that has a French accent with an American historical name?" Reyes, Miss November 1998, told "Dateline NBC" in a segment to run Monday.

The gorgeous nude model of Filipino descent defended her husband and rationalized his deceptive ways.

"I think they were doing bad business, these people you call victims," said Reyes, who has a toddler son, Zeus, with Rocancourt. "I wouldn't call them victims."

There's no way he'd ever change his grifting ways, cops said.

"It's a natural. When people start making easy money like this, it's just too much to get back into real work," said Andy Kim, an investigator in the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.