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McMillions is available to watch on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV in the UK and HBO in the US. The six-part docu-series traces the McDonald’s Monopoly scam which took place between 1989 and 2001.
What happened to Uncle Jerry’s employer Simon Marketing?
Jerome Jacobson, also known as Uncle Jerry, was Chief of Security at Simon Marketing.
Simon Marketing was the subcontracting company – formerly a subsidiary of Cyrk – which had been hired by McDonald’s to organise and promote the McDonald’s Monopoly game.
However, their chief of security removed the most valuable game pieces from the game.
Uncle Jerry then sold the winning tickets to his close family and friends, before expanding his empire across the United States.
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As part of the swap, Jerry sold the winning pieces for a percentage of the winnings in advance.
According to the Daily Beast, Jerry gave one game piece worth $200,000 (£160,890) to his butcher in exchange for $45,000 (£35,800) in cash.
He also gave his nephew a $200,000 (£160,890) game piece for $45,000 (£35,800) in return.
Uncle Jerry did not only give the pieces to people, he anonymously donated $1million (£800,000) winning game piece to St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Overall, Uncle Jerry is estimated to have scammed McDonald’s Monopoly out of $24million (£19million).
Jerry was caught by the FBI after an undercover investigation called Investigation Final Answer.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud in federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, and served three years in federal prison.
According to official court records, 53 people in total were indicted on fraud charges.
In total, 48 pled guilty, 46 of them in pre-trial plea agreements. The two others changed their plea from not guilty to guilty during their trials.
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On the other hand, the Monopoly scandal saw the relationship between McDonald’s and Simon Marketing break down.
They both sued each other over a breach of contract, which was eventually settled out of court.
The New York Times reported McDonald’s claim was thrown out and the company was ordered to pay Simon Marketing $16.6million (£13.3million).
Directors Brian David Lazarte and James Lee Hernandez spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the consequences the scandal had on the company.
Director James Lee Hernandez said: “The printing company you know, the marketing company, the job losses, and also the trust, you know, that people had in playing the game [was lost].
“There were a lot of victims that you may not think you know, even though you might think that they weren’t any victims here, they were quite a few and they are still paying for it today.”
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He added: “I think one of the things that we’ve always talked a lot about in this series and the making of the series is this idea that people assume that it was a victimless crime, that it wasn’t hurting anybody, you could almost say like, it was Robin Hood, stealing from the rich giving to the poor.
“It’s a billion-dollar corporation. It’s kind of a misconception but it’s an easy consideration on the surface to have.
“Throughout the series, we reveal the real consequences that came about as a result of participating in this crime.
“Everyone who decided to do it has a felony conviction to their name with the exception of a few.”
Co-director, Brian Lazarte said: “The companies that helped to do this for McDonald’s, companies are going out of business, people are being laid off like thousands of people were affected in a very detrimental way.
“This is just outside of the number of people who were arrested and convicted within the trial, like, just those people’s lives alone.
“That was, this is if not one of the worst things that ever happened to them and they just never foresaw that.
“To see that fallout, to see how it affected so many people, it’s just fascinating what someone’s greed can get them into.”
McMillions is streaming on NOW TV and HBO now.
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