The Bonnie and Clyde of Mortgage Fraud

A follow up on one of’s early Mortgage Fraud articles. An episode of ‘American Greed’ about Matthew Cox is reminiscent of ‘Catch Me if You Can.’

Palm Coast, FL – July 28, 2010 – In the early days of over three years ago, I posted an article titled Mortgage Fraud, a Natural Byproduct of the Housing Boom. The article made reference to the fascinating story of Matt Cox, who began his prolific career as a mortgage scam artist in Tampa. His story is now available on Hulu. excerpt (January 27, 2007)
Last year marked the arrest of the most infamous mortgage fraud artist, 37 year old Matthew Cox, also known as Maxwell Price, David Richard Freeman, Gerald Scott Cugno, Michael Shawn Shanan, Gary Lee Sullivan, Michael John Eckert, Michael White, Kevin White, David White, James Redd. Listed on the Secret Services most wanted list, Cox was captured in Nashville, TN on November 16, 2006 after an alert babysitter called authorities (but not before checking to see if there was a reward).
Cox had his first brush with the law in Tampa in 2002. He was doing small-time mortgage frauds obtaining small mortgages designed to keep him under the radar. But he inadvertently sent a forged appraisal to the very appraiser whose name he forged. He was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to parole. After his conviction, Cox grew bolder. Once he obtained six loans totaling nearly $1 million on two separate properties within a four-day period. Another victim reports that Cox pocketed around $800,000 from five loans scored against her home. Another victim hesitated to report his suspicions because when he went by the home he had sold to Cox by giving owner financing, he saw several moving boxes and even a large screen TV box – signs that Cox was actually moving in. But later, the victim learned that the boxes were filled with trash and Cox was long gone. Meanwhile, Cox had floated more loans using the property as collateral.
I recently happened upon a segment of the CNBC documentary series "American Greed" on Hulu. It chronicles Cox’s rise and fall much as "Catch Me if You Can" told the story of check fraud/con man Frank Abagnale.
This is a full episode (43:54), so make sure you have enough time. It will be worth it.

3 replies
  1. John
    John says:

    Bonnie & Clyde

    I saw this when it originally aired and I was amazed by the boldness of this kid. He went way beyond what most consider mortgage fraud. Historically I considered mortgage fraud lying on an application, an inflated appraisal, builder kick-backs, etc. This criminal forged and filed false deeds, took out multiple loans on properties he didn’t own, created docs with various computer programs, etc.

    It’s all bad but he took it to a different level! It’s a shame, with that kind of creativity he could have done some great things with his life.

  2. Peter Piper
    Peter Piper says:


    I’m not sure why people call someone a felon once they have served their sentence. If someone has served their time and gone straight, the correct term is "ex-felon".

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