EXCLUSIVE: Foundation Media Partners has secured the exclusive life and book rights of the FBI, Secret Service, and U.S. Marshals’ most-wanted con man Matthew Cox. The company will immediately begin developing both scripted and non-scripted limited series around Cox’s life and infamous exploits, as a mortgage fraudster who stole more than $50 million, beginning in the early 2000s.
Formerly a licensed mortgage broker and brokerage business owner, as well as an admitted scammer, fraudster, and con man, Cox’s criminal case received national media attention after he used forgeries, combined with stolen and synthetic identities, to bilk America’s largest banks out of an estimated $55 million. Despite numerous encounters with bank security, state and federal authorities, Cox narrowly evaded capture for nearly a decade. Eventually, he topped the Secret Service’s most wanted list, and led the U.S. Marshals, FBI, and the Secret Service on a three-year chase, while jet-setting around the world and continuing to commit fraud.
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While he faced 42 counts of fraud, among other felony charges, when eventually caught, and a maximum sentence of more than 400 years in prison, he was able to get his sentence down to a max of 54 years and a $2 million fine, ultimately securing his release in July 2019.
Heat around Cox greatly intensified following an appearance last month on the hugely popular Lex Fridman Podcast, which saw him take Fridman and his listeners through an epic, unfiltered six-hour interview – the longest Fridman has ever done on the podcast. He now works as a true-crime writer and podcaster, and in addition to making the scripted and unscripted TV series on his life, Foundation Media plans on securing a major publisher for Cox’s book, Shark in the Housing Pool, and increasing his podcast presence.
Acquiring the life and book rights of Cox complements a move Foundation made last year in securing exclusive book, film, and documentary rights to the life story of Terry Watanabe, the notorious gambling addict who made history as Las Vegas’ biggest ever whale, losing over $200 million in a single year after gambling an unprecedented $825 million. Foundation is adapting the cautionary tale into a feature film, documentary and/or book, while collaborating with Watanabe himself.
In a statement on Foundation’s latest project, Founder and CEO Patrick Hughes told Deadline, “We really love this story because Matthew is not just a guy who committed fraud – he invented new ways to do it. His story is ‘Catch Me if you Can’ meets ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ meets ‘Big Short.’ It’s wildly exciting – and Mathew is charming, undeniable and a masterful storyteller who audiences will undoubtedly be drawn to. We’re excited to move fast on these series.”
Added Cox: “I’m super excited to be working with Patrick and his team. I’m one hundred percent confident that my story is in the right hands.”
Founded by Hughes in 2016, Foundation Media is an entertainment-focused brand management company that has been behind the entertainment expansion of brands like Build-A-Bear. Recent titles from the company include DreamWorks/Uni’s The Bad Guys, based on the bestselling book franchise by Aaron Blabey, and Thelma the Unicorn, based on another bestselling book franchise from Blabey, which is currently in production with director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) for Netflix.
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