cover story podcast

The Spy Who Screwed Me

An ex-spy pleads guilty to fraud.

Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer

An ex-spy, Matthew Marshall, has been telling us for months that he was framed. He’s under investigation for fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. He’s been accused by his former business partner, who happens to be a billionaire, of making up these fake overseas missions, getting the billionaire to fund them, and then taking the money for himself. Preposterous, right?

A few days before he goes to court Marshall tells us, “Why would I plead guilty? I’d be giving up everything that I’ve fought for and stood for my entire adult life.” The day comes and … he pleads guilty. Huh. Something is wrong.

The government releases a pile of documents about the ex-spy full of new details about him we’d never heard before; fabricated text exchanges, doctored photos.

Matt on a C130 plane with Morgan Lerette, who is on the right. Photo: Morgan Lerette

We call an old friend of his, Frank Gallagher. He describes his last conversation with him:

Frank: I finally called Matt, and I said, “Look, we’ve got a fucking problem.” He was like, “Whaddya mean?” I said… And he got fucking pissed— “Fuck you if you don’t believe me!” Click. Last time I spoke to him.

Cover Story: Seed Money

In the new season of Cover Story, a billionaire hiding out in Whitefish, Montana, is getting away with some “evil shit,” according to … his ex–best friend.

Cover Story is a production of New York Magazine. This season, Seed Money, is hosted by Hanna Rosin. The story originates with Ken Silverstein, who also reported it. Our senior producers are Marianne McCune and Whitney Jones. Also produced by Noor Bouzidi, Kathleen Horan, and Liza Yeager. Sound design and engineering as well as additional editorial help by Sharif Youssef. Cover Story’s theme music is by Santigold. Series music by Devin Clara Fanslow. Fact-checking by Britina Cheng and Ted Hart. Special thanks to legal minds Elissa Cohen, Jillian Robbins, and Samantha Mason. Also thanks to Nichole Hill, Rider Alsop, and Gaby Grossman. Follow the show on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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The Spy Who Screwed Me