The Heist that Inspired the ‘Masterminds’ Movie

The 2016 movie “Masterminds” is based on the true story of the 1997 Loomis Fargo bank robbery in Charlotte, North Carolina. The robbery resulted in the theft of $17.3 million in cash from the regional office vault of Loomis, Fargo & Co.

The mastermind behind the robbery was a man named David Ghantt, who was a vault supervisor at Loomis Fargo at the time. Ghantt teamed up with a group of accomplices, including his girlfriend Kelly Campbell, her friend Steve Chambers, and his friend Michael McKinney to carry out the robbery.

Ghantt stole the money from the vault and handed it over to his accomplices, who fled with the cash to Mexico. However, things quickly went wrong for the group when Ghantt became paranoid and feared that his accomplices would kill him to keep the money for themselves. He eventually turned himself in to the authorities and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Chambers and McKinney were also eventually caught and sentenced to prison for their roles in the robbery. Campbell was sentenced to house arrest and probation for her involvement.

The real-life story behind “Masterminds” is filled with twists and turns, including murder-for-hire plots and mistaken identities. While the movie takes some creative liberties with the true story, it remains a fascinating account of one of the largest cash robberies in U.S. history.

The story of the Loomis Fargo bank robbery is a cautionary tale of greed, betrayal, and the consequences of making poor choices. It serves as a reminder that crime never pays and that the truth will eventually come to light.

Is Masterminds Based On A Real Story?

Masterminds is based on a real story. The movie is loosely based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery in North Carolina, which was one of the largest cash heists in the United States history at the time. The robbery was masterminded by a group of amateur criminals, including David Ghantt and his co-conspirator, Kelly Campbell. The group managed to steal $17.3 million in cash, which they latr used to fund their lavish lifestyles. However, they were eventually caught and brought to justice. The story of the Loomis Fargo robbery has been adapted into various forms of media over the years, including books, documentaries, and movies.

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Was David Ghantt In Masterminds Real?

David Ghantt was a real person and was involved in the Loomis Fargo bank robbery that took place in 1997 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In fact, the movie Masterminds, which was released in 2016, is based on this real-life event and features a character based on David Ghantt. In the movie, David Ghantt is portrayed by actor Zach Galifianakis, and the real David Ghantt makes a cameo appearance at the beginning of the film at a diner. So, to sum up, both the real David Ghantt and the character based on him in Masterminds are real.

Is The Hitman In Masterminds Real?

In the movie Masterminds, the character of hitman Mike McKinney who was hired to kill the protagonist David Ghantt, is a fictional creation. However, the movie is loosely based on a real-life incident that occurred in 1997, known as the Loomis Fargo Robbery. In reality, there was no hitman involved in the case, and the events depicted in the movie have been exaggerated for dramatic effect. The real-life David Ghantt did flee to Mexico afer the heist and was eventually caught and extradited back to the United States. However, there was no ongoing assassination attempt on him as depicted in the movie.

How Much Money Did David Ghantt Steal?

David Ghantt stole $17.3 million in cash from the Charlotte, North Carolina, regional office vault of Loomis, Fargo & Co. on the evening of October 4, 1997.


The true story behind the Loomis Fargo bank robbery, whch inspired the hit movie “Masterminds,” is a fascinating tale of greed, betrayal, and absurdity. The real-life events that took place in 1997 in Charlotte, North Carolina, involved a group of unlikely criminals who managed to steal $17.3 million in cash from the regional office vault of Loomis, Fargo & Co. The heist was masterminded by David Ghantt, a former armored truck driver, who was helped by his co-worker Kelly Campbell and her friend Steve Chambers. The trio’s plan was to flee to Mexico and live off the stolen money, but their scheme was soon uncovered by the authorities, leading to a series of arrests and trials.

The characters in the true story of the Loomis Fargo robbery are even more bizarre than their movie counterparts, with Chambers being a paranoid and violent drug dealer, and Campbell being a manipulative and seductive woman who used her charms to convince Ghantt to go along with the plan. The real-life events also involved a failed attempt to kill Ghantt by Chambers, who believed that he had been double-crossed by his accomplices.

The true story behind “Masterminds” is a gripping tale of human folly and criminality, and it is a testament to the power of storytelling that it has captivated audiences both on the big screen and in real life.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.