McMillions UK: What happened after the FBI caught Uncle Jerry?
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McMillions is the documentary series which traces the McDonald’s Monopoly Game Scam, which took place between 1989 and 2001. The scam was carried out by a former police officer called Jerome Jacobson.
What happened after the FBI caught Uncle Jerry?
From 1989 until 2001, Jerome ‘Uncle Jerry’ Jacobson carried out the largest case of fraud on US soil.
He scammed McDonald’s of $24 million through the McDonald’s Monopoly game.
As Chief of Security at Simon Marketing, Jerry was able to take the winning tickets and distribute them to friends and family.
After meeting Jerry Columbo, head of the Columbo crime family, Jerry expanded his operation across the United States.
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Eager FBI agent, Doug Matthew’s came across a note one day at work of a colleague, Rick Dent, that read ‘McDonald Monopoly Fraud?’ and he decided to follow it up.
In 2001, under Operation Final Answer the FBI Uncle Jerry and his scam unravelled.
In the end, 53 people were indicted on fraud charges and 48 pled guilty to their involvement in the scam.
Jerry pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud in Jacksonville, Florida and served three years in federal prison.
He was released from prison on October 21, 2005.
He was also ordered to pay $12.5 million (£9 million) in restitution.
His trial began on September 10, 2001, but was overshadowed in the media by the September 11 attacks in New York City.
As a result, many people were obvious to the monstrous scam having ever taken place.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, directors Brian David Lazarte and James Lee Hernandez opened up about what happened to Jerry after he was caught by the FBI.
They said: “So he got three, just over three years. But still when you think is the estimation that he stole cumulatively somewhere between $24 to 30 million over, over a decade or a little over a decade.
“A lot of people think like he’s still in jail right now and are shocked that he’s not.”
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They added: “But the truth that we’ve learned is that in white-collar crimes, as long as you don’t kill anyone or take someone hostage, and you’re just stealing money, you really don’t serve that much time.
“What you get hit with more is the fact that you have to pay restitution. You have to then you’re basically saddled financially for the rest of your life.”
Not only was Jerry given a prison sentence, but he was also fined $12.5 million (£10m).
Directors Hernandez and Lazarte said: “Jerry Jacobson has to pay somewhere between like 13 or $14 million back and that he’ll never be able to pay that back.
“That’ll be on him forever. And you can’t I claim bankruptcy against the government. So, they’re always going to want that money for the forever.
“The other thing is that now he is a federal criminal. He can’t vote. He can’t do a lot of the things that a normal citizen could do.”
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They added: “And he also cooperated with the government once he was busted. He gave everybody else. And so that participation and then the case really took away some of the heavier portions of the sentencing.”
“We will say that like because we’ve had the chance to talk to so many people that were close to him, you know, his, you know, his stepbrother his ex-wife, his defence attorneys and son.
“You really do get a picture of what it was like growing up with him what it was like when he was, committing the crime, unbeknownst to other people.
“And of course, you know, we’re hearing people who were very closely connected in the crime and recruiters who were talking about their individual experiences.
“So, you really do get a sense of, you know what he was like, and perhaps it’s a little bit more interesting and mysterious to learn about the guy from everybody else.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated, Jerry was the only one involved in the ring who served more than a year and one day in prison.
McMillions is streaming on NOW TV and HBO now
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