It’s a true crime story that sounds like it came right out of a movie.
For years, former police officer Jerome Jacobson and his close-knit network of Mormons, housewives, mobsters, a strip-club owner and psychics stole more than AU$32 million in McDonald’s monopoly prizes.
But it’s a case that’s largely been forgotten. After all, the trial began on September 10, 2001, leaving it to disappear in the media in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
McDonald’s Monopoly has been a hugely popular promotion since it first launched in 1987.
In the US in the ’90s, the game gave customers an opportunity to win prizes ranging from a free burger to a luxury Dodge Viper and even the grand prize of $1 million.
But for years, the game was rigged by Jerome Jacobson (also known as ‘Uncle Jerry’) and his intricate crime network.
Jacobson always wanted to be a police officer. But after a few injuries and ongoing medical issues, he was forced to move on, moving from Florida to Atlanta, Georgia where he later found a job in private security.
He climbed the ranks of private security, and soon enough he was in a top position, overseeing Simon Marketing who held a $500 million relationship with McDonald’s.
Jacobson was the man responsible for safely getting the winning prize game pieces from the printing press to McDonald's packaging factories across the US.