By the time federal authorities arrested Matthew Cox, he was accused of scamming millions as part of massive mortgage fraud across several states. VH1’s ‘My True Crime Story’ focuses on his early years and the time he spent scamming people and stealing identities on the run. It also chronicles how Matthew turned his life around while in prison and carved a career of his own as a writer. So, if you want to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Matthew Cox?
Matthew Cox grew up in a Catholic family in Tampa, Florida. Early on, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, and a school counselor had told him he would never land a job that would require him to depend on his brain. Matthew even believed that his parents never expected him to graduate from school because of his diagnosis. Nevertheless, he got an art degree from the University of South Florida.
During the early 2000s, Matthew started a mortgage business in Tampa and, during that time, started his crime spree. In an interview with The Atlantic, he said, “A broker would come in and say, ‘Look, this guy makes $65,000. If he made $75,000, I could get him a loan.’ And I’d say, ‘Bring me his W2s and his pay stubs, and I’ll change this, and I’ll change that.’ I hate to use the word light fraud—there’s really no distinction—but in comparison to what I ultimately started doing, it was definitely light.”
In 2001, Matthew got caught after sending a fake appraisal to the person whose name he had forged. He pleaded guilty and avoided jail time, getting probation instead. Later, he sold his mortgage business to a friend and started working for him as a consultant. But bills and child support payments for his son, Casio, kept piling up, leading him to think of other ways to make money instead of declaring bankruptcy.
Matthew went to the Social Security office and submitted a fraudulent birth certificate and immunization record of a non-existent baby; he had become a skilled forger owing to his art degree. He repeated that with several made-up names, then used those Social Security numbers to sign up for credit cards. As part of another scam, Matthew had a fake person buy rundown properties and then create appraisals more than the actual value. After that, he would take loans out against that inflated value.
Once the bank stopped receiving payments, the account would go to the collection agents. Matthew found a way around this by looking up a newspaper article about a car accident, changing the name, and retyping it. He would then send it to the bank with a letter from a non-existent sister, leading the bank to move the property into foreclosure. Matthew had associates, and the total scam was around $12 million at the time.
In December 2003, Matthew learned that the authorities were hot on his tail, so he went on the run with his then-girlfriend, Rebecca Hauck. While living in Atlanta, Georgia, he schemed to defraud a homeowner in Florida by forging signatures on a fraudulent satisfaction-of-mortgage form, suggesting the mortgage was paid. The two then applied for new mortgages and repeated the scam with several other unsuspecting people before Rebecca broke up with him after a physical altercation and moved on.
Where is Matthew Cox Today?
Eventually, the authorities caught up to Matthew after receiving a tip, leading to his arrest in November 2006. They believed he impersonated a Red Cross worker to steal homeless people’s identities. Furthermore, he stole the identities of people in drug rehab. In April 2007, Matthew pled guilty to bank fraud, identity theft, passport fraud, two counts of mortgage fraud conspiracy, and violating his probation. The same year, Matthew was sentenced to serve 26 years in federal prison, and he began his incarceration at Coleman Federal Correctional Institution, Florida.
There, Matthew turned to writing; he initially wrote about his life and crimes but later worked on another inmate’s memoir. Once that was published, he was flooded with requests from other inmates wanting him to write their stories. Soon, Matthew had a waiting list and would sit down with these inmates for hours. As part of his research, he would even look up official files that he got via the Freedom of Information Act.
Matthew later said, “Everyone does their time in prison differently. Some prisoners fight their convictions, others workout in the recreation yard; I wrote my fellow prisoners’ true crime stories.” In a 2013 sentence reduction hearing, his lawyer mentioned his client’s cooperation with an FBI investigation and his help with a fraud case. As a result, he had his sentence reduced by almost 12 years.
Matthew was released in July 2019 after almost 12.5 years behind bars. He wanted to focus on his writing career and had already published another book in prison called ‘Generation Oxy: From High School Wrestlers to Pain Pill Kingpins.’ It appears that he currently lives in Florida and runs a website called Inside True Crime, where he uploads his written work.
Apart from that, Matthew has continued his work as an artist and has a YouTube channel with more than 50,000 subscribers. He hosts interviews with various people on the platform and talks about different cases. Besides, Matthew presents talks about his life and experiences at conventions and colleges.
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