|First Seen||The Con is On|
- "He's in a class all his own. He's had every fraud office in the country jumping through hoops for twenty years but never been convicted."
- ―The police
Michael Stone is a fictional character and member and leader of the The Hustle gang, a series of Con artists at the centre of the the show, who con corrupt marks out of their money. He is also known by the alias Mickey Bricks and is considered by many people, both in the Police and by their fellow con artists, to be one of the best Con Artists in the world.
He is intelligent, charismatic and quick-witted and is able to meticulously plan out elaborate plans which involve twists and double bluffs that get the gang what they want and leaves the Police without any evidence to build a case.
He makes money by setting up long cons, an extended deception practised against one or more "marks". Many grifters have given up on practising the long cons but it is still practised by mickey and his team.
Pre show history
Mickey has a strong dislike of being told what to do or having a job. These feelings appear to stem from his childhood. In series one, he revealed that his father was an "ordinary, law-abiding citizen whose only dream was to retire at age 60, a dream of which he was robbed when he dropped dead" of natural causes "three days before his 60th birthday". He watched his father doing "exactly what society told him to and then had to watch as that same sense of duty crushed him".
This left him with a strong hatred of people who simply use the system to make themselves rich regardless of the cost to anyone else, which is the main reason Mickey always selects marks whom he has reason to dislike; by making it personal when attempting to outwit them, he stops himself from ever making the con about the money. The gang states that their first rule is, "You can't cheat an honest man," not because they should not but because those being conned are greedy and dishonest people, who are thus less likely to over-analyse anything that would make them rich. In that sense, Mickey is not hypocritical because he doesn't steal from "old ladies"; indeed, on at least two occasions he has masterminded cons where innocent people gain more from the cons than the gang themselves (Although the gang still made a profit from their actions).
Mickey was married, but his wife wanted him to be something that he wasn't. He was desperate not to disappoint her, which he later admitted was a recipe for disaster.
Mickey is considered by most people to be one of the finest grifters alive. His best moments include 'moving' the Star of Africa and averting police capture by recruiting another grifter to head the investigation into his activities. Incidentally he has never been charged with grifting (his only incarceration was for a completely non-related crime- assault on his ex-wife's boyfriend with a baseball bat for which he served two years). He has three weaknesses; loyalty, his extraordinary ego, and his hatred of being told what to do by anyone. He is a unique con artist in that he doesn't think like a normal person. You cannot second guess him. He gives the impression that he is making it all up as he goes along, but everything is planned and precise. He puts together complicated and seemingly unrelated events, impossible to unravel, but all related to the big con. The higher the stakes, the more he likes it.
He often removes things from people's pockets and one occasion drives off in a gentleman's car after convincing him he is a valet, but despite this, he frequently insists he is "not a thief", refusing to go after targets such as lottery winners and arranging various cons to benefit others outside of his immediate gang (Such as when he conned Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding, notorious Intellectual Property Right thieves, in order to force them to return the patent for a security system to the widow of the original inventor after he committed suicide after he was cheated by them). On one occasion, he also stated that he has a great respect for the police officers who are willing to go after him for the right reasons, while expressing contempt of cops such as Samantha Phillips or Sid Fisk, who will resort to bribery and fraud to get Mickey and the gang to do what they want.
In The Con is On Mickey has finished his prison sentence for attacking his wife's boyfriend with a baseball bat and is trying to get the old team (Ash, Albert and Stacie) back together for one last con, subsequently forming a new team with short-con grifter Danny Blue when Danny sought a mentor in the long-con game. His reputation as a grifter has since gone from strength to strength, conning such opponents as Victor Maher, ex-fraud-officer-turned-bank-security- the only man alive to defeat Albert-, as well as such significant scams as faking the theft of one of the Crown Jewels.
Although he spent some months in Australia pretending to sell the Sydney Opera House, he lost the money from that con while escaping the police, resulting in him returning to Britain to form a new team of Albert and Ash, and recruiting brother/sister duo Sean and Emma Kennedy. Danny and Stacie are absent from this new team as they wished to remain in America following the end of series four. This new team dynamic features Mickey as less of an explicit mentor figure than in previous series.
|The Hustle gang|
|Current: Michael Stone • Ash Morgan • Sean Kennedy • Emma Kennedy • Albert Stroller|