The film is loosely based on the true life events of the ABSCAM scandal in America that stretched from the late 70's to the early 80's. ABSCAM was an FBI sting operation based at the FBI's Long Island offices, and was initially set up to target stolen property trafficking. This, however, morphed into a public corruption investigation. It investigated 31 officials and captured a U.S. Senator as well as several congressmen and local politicians.
The films official premise, according to the Internet Movie Database, reads 'the story of a con artist and his partner in crime, who were forced to work with a federal agent to turn the tables on other cons, mobsters and politicians namely, the volatile mayor of impoverished Camden, New Jersey'.
It's a promising story-line, with a lot to work with and great on screen potential to be a captivating story. Obviously, a premise's job is to sound intriguing and exciting, though I can't help but be drawn already by its historical source guide and time setting. Those that are looking for a historically accurate retelling, it seems, may be disappointed, though David O. Russell has proven his worth, and accuracy will have little bearing on the quality of this film.