Swindles, plagiarism and secret plotting (10)
I believe the answer is:
'plotting' is the definition.
'swindles plagiarism' is the wordplay.
'swindles' becomes 'cons' (con is a kind of swindle).
'plagiarism' becomes 'piracy ' (I've seen this before).
'and secret' is the link.
This may not be right. Some or all of it may belong to another bit of the clue.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for conspiracy that I've seen before include "Plot" , "Secret plan" , "scheme" , "Joint action undertaken secretly" , "that involves plotting" .)