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DUE DILIGENCE

Powers collide in rural Maine during The Cold War when avaricious investors buy a paper mill but Wall Street, the Mob, and Soviet spies should have read Stephen King as part of due diligence before enraging a supra-natural force in the area. Selling DUE DILIGENCE: The Americans meet Billions and The Sopranos with a slice of Stephen King.

So long as sulfur could be smelled in the air, life was good at the Maine paper mill town near the Canadian border, as it had been for generations. But when a greedy private equity firm from Wall Street descended on it, everything changed. There are now three powerful factions contending for control of the paper mill, and none care about the community and its people. But soon Russian sleeper agents (embedded KGB spies), The Mob, and Wall Street will meet an even greater force when a casino is built on reclaimed land inhabited by Father Sebastian Rale, a Jesuit missionary killed by the colonists in 1724 for his efforts to protect indigenous Native Americans in Maine. Russian sleeper agents from the KGB work at the paper mill factory as it is a perfect cover. It is also close to Loring Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) base in Maine during The Cold War that kept a number of B-52 bombers on constant alert, always ready to take off instantly to attack Russia. The assignment of the Soviet spies is simple: kill the American bomber pilots and sabotage the B-52s, if ordered. The Russian agents have started to move into local businesses such as check cashing, hunting guides, and a fish factory on the coast to facilitate spying operations and deepen their cover. But if the paper mill closes, all cover will be gone and their mission compromised. The Mafia has been active in the area since Prohibition, running booze and cigarettes from Canada 95 south to New England and New York City. This is lucrative as the Feds look for booze and cigarettes 95 north from Virginia and North Carolina. It was also ideal for laundering money as cash is paid for the booze and cigarettes from Canada destined for Boston and other points south. Around a factory town and major military base are many small businesses ideal for money laundering: restaurants, liquor stores, pawn shops, check cashing outfits, massage parlors, et al To further protect their interests, a Boston lawyer, who was in debt to the mob, is forced to move to the area and hang out his shingle. If the paper mill shuts down, if will be impossible to hide their illicit activities and launder money in an impoverished area in rural Maine. There has never been any labor unrest at the paper mill due to the influence of The Mafia and the Russian spies. This peaceful labor situation makes the paper mill even more for more appealing for the private equity firm's multi-prong strategy. Sell everything that has any value and plunder what was left comes first. Then lay off enough workers to force local politicians to open a tribal casino to revitalize the area economy and benefit their other holdings in gambling (this happened near Rumford, a paper mill town in Maine). DUE DILIGENCE was inspired by the closing of the paper mill in Groveton, New Hampshire, which is near my cottage, and was detailed in the book,"You had a Job for Life: Company Town." There were also a number of false calls in The Cold War that almost resulted in World War III. None ever resulted in missiles being launched or bombers unleashing their nuclear payloads, thankfully, but I always wondered from work on Capitol Hill (Top Secret Clearance twice), what the effect was on the intelligence community, especially sleeper agents. Selling DUE DILIGENCE: The Americans meets Billions and The Sopranos with a slice of Stephen King.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
TV Pilot
Posted:
02/22/2020
Updated:
02/22/2020
Author Bio:
Quarter-Finalist in The Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards Holiday Contest (first time I ever entered a contest with first script I ever wrote). Made THE RED LIST with another, too. Thousands of articles published under my byline in Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, among other venues. Host of several shows. Degrees from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown University Law Center. Much of my career was spent on Capitol Hill, where I had Top Secret Clearance twice.

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