McMillions (2020) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

I want some! It's the Monopoly game, only at McDonald's with over 50 million prizes and supersized excitements.
Do not pass go.
Go directly to McDonald's.
If you were around back in the '90s Now at McDonald's, Monopoly is more than a game.
You can play it.
You heard it everywhere.
The game Monopoly is back at McDonald's bigger and better than ever.
This year, there's more prizes than ever.
McDonald's ran the Monopoly game for years.
- Hey, collect the right game pieces.
- And win two million dollars.
But no one knew the truth about the game being played.
No one.
People everywhere are winning big.
I've been caught stealing once when I was five.
I enjoy stealing.
The McDonald's prizes could be cars, boats, hundred thousand up to the million dollars.
When I want something and I don't wanna pay for it.
But from 1989 to 2001 Hey.
I won a Dodge Viper.
There were almost no legitimate winners of the high value game pieces in the McDonald's Monopoly game.
I mean how crazy bullshit is that? It's mine.
MCMILLIONS Jacksonville FBI had a little bit of a reputation of being a sleepy hollow retirement office.
There was a slower attitude there.
Very undersized, a fraction of a Miami or an Atlanta or something like that spread very thin.
At the time in 2001, I supervised a squad of approximately 12 agents charged with investigating white-collar crime, bank fraud, healthcare fraud, public corruption.
Even before I got there, I kept hearing about this legendary guy Rick Dent mid-career, senior agent and his partner Doug Matthews, a newly assigned agent to the division.
I'm Special Agent Matthews.
When you pull Jacksonville as an office you're going to, what I heard was, "Good luck with that.
" For big cases, man, you're like duct taping stuff together just because you wanna make it happen.
That's the type of division you were in.
I was lucky to link up with Rick Dent early on and have him as the old guard, my training agent.
He's a mathematician and has about as much personality as this piece of wood right here.
Very matter of fact.
And so he and I were kind of opposites there.
I'm always looking for another fun ride, right? If you guys get to Rick Dent, I'm telling you, he's gonna be "Yes.
Don't recall.
" The filmmakers made multiple requests to interview special agent Rick Dent.
His response: "No.
" The priority for the FBI at that particular juncture was healthcare fraud.
A work in the one to three-year type case, that's a long time.
Sometimes I have that ADD thing of the shinier object or whatever.
So, I see this note in the corner part of his desk and all I saw was McDonald's Monopoly Fraud with a question mark.
And I go, "What is that?" Because I'm bored to death with this healthcare garbage, right? It's important but I was ready to move on.
I go, "Is this the McDonald's Monopoly game?" He was like, "Yeah.
" Eventually, I was gonna get around to it.
So what he told me was that there was an individual who had called in and had this story that the Monopoly game was fixed.
That was pretty much it.
I go, "Give me that damn thing.
I'm gonna go check this out.
" I'm seeing the fun mirror with that.
That's got to be more fun than this shit that I'm looking at.
Dent thought it was just some BS story.
So, "Yeah, here.
Run with this for a little bit, young man.
" I contacted the source of this call and the source gave me three names that were previous million-dollar winners and I said I know this is fixed because these people are related.
They're on the family tree somehow with all different names.
And the person who's controlling this was this nebulous name of Uncle Jerry.
So I come back, I'm excited, right? I got the biggest case ever.
I said, "Look, all million-dollar winners.
We need to be on this.
I think I probably said that.
"Screw that healthcare shit we're working.
" Or something like that.
Rick, I don't know if that was it or I know you would never agree with that.
But like any senior agent goes, this happens even in today's bureau.
The new young guy goes out and finds a nice piece of gold.
The old agent goes, "Give me that back and let me look at this.
" And that's about how it was.
Truth be told, I was a little skeptical.
Fast food, promotional game fraud was not making any list of priorities anywhere.
I don't think anybody had really been seeing anything like this before.
So there's always a risk that I turn these guys loose on this and it turns out it's not true and that I've expended resources.
But I think we all realized if this is true, this is big.
What Rick did was immediately get in touch with the US attorney's office and Mark Devereaux because if you don't have an interest from a prosecutor, you're wasting your time.
Devereaux was the go-to guy that prosecuted our white-collar stuff.
If there's a chance this thing can be indicted, prosecuted, even if it's a difficult case, he's gonna be the guy to do it because he's the guy behind the wheel.
That part of the sell to get that prosecutor on was a big a deal.
I didn't know if Devereaux knew what Monopoly game was.
I have no idea.
I think he was a Burger King guy.
I don't know.
My name's Mark Devereaux, Assistant US Attorney for almost 30 years.
In this case, it was, I don't know if this is real or if it's just somebody trying to get family members somehow interviewed and get them in trouble.
But lo and behold, when we received a list of all the winners, we could show to different databases these individuals were related.
They had family connections in the local Jacksonville area.
In my world, you don't believe in coincidences very much.
And the chance of having numerous family members and relatives win the game was just astronomical.
Basically, you've got less of a chance than you do of getting struck by lightning in Florida.
At that point in time, we knew there was a problem.
How big was that problem? We had no idea.
The information we were compiling is that their contest had been infected years before we became aware.
We're talking altogether hundreds of millions of dollars of these prizes.
Well, how much of that is fraud? Once Devereaux said, "I'm interested in this," he's on for everything.
All the strategy sessions.
Some prosecutors, you see that space.
Devereaux, he got no space.
Right all up in there with you.
We start with where could there be the opportunity to steal the game piece.
We weren't sure if there was somebody inside with McDonald's where that person was, how many and how far that went.
How many suspects do we have? We have to figure out who makes the cups, who makes the fry box, who makes these game pieces that you would pull off, how many people are in this chain.
There's all kinds of possibilities.
This could be the driver, the delivery people, people in the factory, or even somebody even corporate at McDonald's.
We didn't close out anyone.
So there reached a point where there was a ton of questions but it was very difficult to pursue that further without putting some action to it.
There wasn't a lot of, at the time, get on the internet and do something.
We clearly had to start somewhere but without compromising the case.
So we needed a source of information on the inside.
There was a big decision to be made and that was do we contact McDonald's because we just ran into a dead end.
I was sitting back going, "Don't let them know.
I don't want them involved yet.
Way too soon.
" But that's me and that was just one little tiny voice.
And I mean tiny when I say that.
Of course there's a possibility that somebody in McDonald's is involved or knows about this and is looking the other way.
But that was a risk we were ultimately willing to take.
We didn't want to alert too many people at McDonald's.
So, we contacted their Head of Global Security, Rob Holm, and told him that t would probably be best for you to come to Jacksonville.
Didn't tell him why.
Just told him, you have to come and see us.
That this was need-to-know only.
Do not tell anybody you're coming to see the FBI, to keep it quiet.
McDonald's sent three people and I personally picked them up here in Jacksonville and we drove over to the FBI Office in the morning.
Mostly, it was just welcome to Jacksonville, this and that.
Didn't even explain to them what we had.
We got to the FBI office Took them up to the conference room.
You're evaluating their body language or whether they're twitching.
Are they legitimate? Or is there something else going on here? At that point, we did not know if the McDonald's was involved.
Every organization can have a bad apple.
This part of the investigation was extremely boring to me.
I don't want anything to do with this.
Call me when it's over, Rick, right? Which was sort of my MO a lot of times.
It's way too slow for me.
But I was, "No, you got to be here for that.
" And so I think I showed up.
I might've had a gold suit on.
I had it in the closet and I thought this is a great opportunity where this was like a golden fry suit, right? Man, when I wore that in there, Mark Devereaux, if he could've ripped it off with his hands, he would've.
He goes, "Are you kidding me?" But it had a white shirt on, right? So I thought I was safe.
I wasn't.
Doug has quite a wardrobe and there he is, sitting there.
And lo and behold, he looks like he's a manager of a McDonald's.
They thought it was cool.
I'm kidding.
So, when you're there in that meeting, very tint.
I went up to a whiteboard and started putting names down.
And I ask, "Do you recognize the names?" "No, sir.
" "All these people are winners on your promotional games.
" And then, I started drawing lines of family connections and relationships.
Devereaux's putting around the whiteboard there, "Did you know this?" Brothers, sisters, cousins, mother-daughter, that type thing.
This person is married to this person's daughter and the last names were all different.
And I remember it was literally jaws on the table.
They just could not believe it.
Even though we had it look like our corporate victim here of McDonald's, are they truly a victim? I mean, there's always that.
And so there was more information there that I would've probably put out there, certainly enough for them to see, wow, that, "Yeah, have an issue.
" Everybody agreed that we needed to keep this circle of individuals that had this knowledge to the absolute minimum.
Devereaux was doing most the talking as he usually does and it just seemed like this meeting just took forever.
Don't know if I was hungry, I might've been hungry twice in that meeting.
Proving this case historically, which is what we traditionally did in white-collar cases when you rely on paperwork, you rely on witness interviews, bank statements, was gonna be very difficult.
I mean, almost monumental.
We would, in this case, have to think outside the box and then we find out that they were on the cusp of running another game.
It was a perfect fit because we were looking to doing something proactively, essentially catch people in the act.
We told them the only way to identify this criminal enterprise was to have them run a game knowing that there's fraud somewhere involved in this.
We have this, we're going forward, we want your help.
If the answer is no nothing happens.
My name is Rob Holm, Director of Global Security for McDonald's.
Our brand is, throughout the world, 37,000 restaurants and 120 countries.
So, it's a big responsibility.
When I first learned about our Monopoly game being compromised I was shocked.
l was really shocked.
How in the world could have this have happened? More importantly, was anybody from McDonald's a part of this? The FBI wanted to run the promotion knowing that it was rigged.
I was hesitant to do that.
Obviously we're concerned that if this game is rigged, customers are not even gonna get a chance to win the million dollars.
I think we were naive to think that they would agree right then and there and we'd be off and running.
These promotions were, of everything McDonald's, one of the bright spots.
I remember the mad cow and at that time, McDonald's was struggling with some image things.
Concern over Britain's so called mad cow disease spread late today to McDonald's restaurants.
First mad cow and now this.
McDonald's and you.
McDonald's and you Sharing good times The most important thing for McDonald's is their brand name.
They're a family restaurant that can be trusted.
Their golden arches are a part of America.
Remember there's only one McDonald's and there's only one you.
They have to protect that.
McDonald's and you.
And so if it's on a 6:00 news, in the national news, that McDonald's games are a fraud, they could suffer irreparable damage to their good name.
I wasn't in their meetings but I would bet dollars to donuts that there were a few people that said, "We can't do this, shut it off," and nobody ever finds out about this.
They wanted this big meeting.
So we went out there to Illinois, their headquarters They got this great coffee in the inside when you walk in their place and you're waiting on them, so anyway, I know that's aside.
At that time, we weren't sure which way they were gonna go.
That was a heck of a decision.
There were so many what ifs.
What if it's somebody within our own company? A traitor? We've got a problem.
They needed to find that out, because if they had just shut down, it may have continued.
How many people have been playing this thing? They're gonna find out, we didn't help burn this down.
The McDonald's knew they had a ticking bomb.
Making that call was something that we took seriously.
Our worry all along was that this could be leaked out publically.
So, it was not an easy decision but ultimately, we owed it to our customers to do the right thing which is to run the game one more time.
We absolutely knew that if we didn't get this right we're not getting another opportunity, it's not like, "Don't worry, we'll run this again next month.
" We knew that at best we had this one shot to move our investigation.
This is how we do it.
From that point, it was literally "McDonald's, tell us how this program works.
" But McDonald's make French fries and hamburgers, and milkshakes, and apple pies.
They don't make marketing.
They outsourced it.
They They hired a marketing company, Simon Marketing.
Simon Marketing produced and came up with the Happy Meal toys in the '80s.
Your kids will love McDonald's Happy Meal.
It's food and fun in a box.
The Happy Meal is gonna increase your business but it's for the children.
I have a Happy Meal.
They wanted a promotion for the adult.
I'm Richard White, started at Simon Marketing in 1981.
The game Monopoly has come to life at McDonald's.
The Monopoly game, we designed that game and it was running once a year.
A two-million-dollar grand prize.
Play Monopoly.
It was ridiculous amount of increase in McDonald's business, like, 40% when we ran the game.
People love collecting.
The Monopoly promotion is much like the Monopoly game you would have at home.
Customers try to match game pieces like boardwalk and park place.
They had their cards and it'd be full, but that'd be missing a piece, and a piece and a piece, and a piece, because those were the winning pieces.
And there was low-value pieces that you could win, food items, beverages, and some of the high value pieces, the homes vehicles and the million dollars.
- Boardwalk.
- Boardwalk? So they were after that million-dollar winner and people like chance games.
Any game we did for McDonald's always increased their business.
We actually did scrabble one year.
Got to where they started doing it twice a year.
How are we gonna get our sales back up? Let's run Monopoly again.
This is how we do it, all hands up in the air.
There were very specific rules for how you could obtain the game piece.
One of the ways was that you could just walk in and ask for free to get a game piece because otherwise, it was gambling.
How else can you get the game piece? You could go in and buy a food product and you could get the game piece out of some of the magazines.
Nowhere in the game rules does it say, I can get a game piece from Uncle Jerry.
This is how we do it.
With a significant case, an undercover operation or something that involves a lot of people, you could give it a name.
So we had a contest to come up with a name among the squad.
Some of the names are Operation Unhappy Meal, Fallen Arches.
I think there were a few playing on the Hamburglar or Stale Fries.
I don't think we sent that one up to headquarters for approval.
I think calmer, more rational minds prevailed.
The new promotional game was called, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" to match up with the TV show.
Play the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game at McDonald's.
If you remember, the TV show, they ask, "Is that your final answer?" - Final answer? - Final answer.
So, that ultimately became the name of this operation.
Game time.
Kickoff has started and we're in the game.
At the time, I was always looking for an undercover angle, even though I was being told, "You don't want that.
" I was always asked, "What about this one? Go get the bad guy.
" I wanna burn down the criminal enterprise.
Maybe it's the accountant in him or this Walter Mitty complex, but this was the opportunity to be an undercover agent, even before we could articulate the need to do any kind of undercover, that there was always this, somehow, some way, we got to do an undercover in this thing.
Every single meeting, I'm the one over there going, "Undercover investigation.
" I didn't think anybody was listening.
As a matter of fact, I think a couple of them started out with, "Matthews, I don't wanna hear anything about an undercover investigation, just sit over there and listen.
" Rick always coined that I was the George Costanza like Seinfeld was being back then.
All right, that's it for me.
Take care, everybody.
I'd come in and I'd say "Undercover," and I'm going, I was out.
You could let him run with things a bit and then bring him back to reality.
"Yeah, that's great, Doug.
By the way, I still need that FD-302 you promised me, so I want you to go get that done and then we'll talk about undercover work.
" So we get the call from McDonald's that this guy, Michael Hoover, a winner had claimed the latest prize.
So, we had the advantage of knowing this person's name and we're able to do a little bit of preliminary background.
I think he worked as a pit boss at a casino.
I guess he would've been familiar with gambling and sweepstakes and whatnot.
Rick wanted to try to do the wiretap.
It's called a Title III investigation, the wire investigation got up.
And you're sitting and you're not doing anything and that's a boring situation for me.
I don't know how many poems I can write on a piece of paper to get through it.
So, I said, "Look, what do you think about this?" When you win, you party, you're signing up as winners to, and say, "Hey, I'm okay with using my face and the big check or whatever it is for future promotions.
" So I saw that as an opportunity.
Let's use that as a platform for us.
I said, this is a great opportunity for an undercover investigation where we do this TV commercial of the winners, like publishers clearing the house.
Jumping up and telling us how they won these and what they did with it, so we could do that with Hoover.
We're the production company, that's how this could roll.
And he's like, "Matthews, who's gonna do this? Are you gonna do it? Because I'm not doing it.
" And I said, "Yeah, I'm gonna do it.
" He goes, "You don't know anything about that.
" And I said, "I'm gonna be the director because they don't do shit.
And then I'm gonna get McDonald's to give me their public relations.
" That's all I said.
And Rick goes, "Wait a minute.
If we're going to do anything, we're gonna need SAC authority.
" I'm Tom Kneir.
I was the Special Agent in Charge of the Jacksonville office of the FBI.
In each office, you have the SAC for the office.
That's their Special Agent In Charge.
And then you have squads.
Most of the contact is usually with the squad supervisor.
But this was a particular case that I had a lot of hands-on with Chris and everybody that worked on that case.
Doug was almost brand new at the time and he's been given a badge, a gun, and some credentials, and now he's got a superman's cape, right? And away he goes.
So the next day, I think I was called and he said, "Hey, you, need to come up here.
" When you hear your name, "Matthews to the SAC's Office," never good.
Never, ever good.
And everybody knows it's like the walk of shame.
To the elevators, whatever.
"Oh, shit, Matthews.
I hope you still have a paycheck," because they all know it's bad.
And so I come in and it's SAC Kneir, CDC, the Chief Division Council, Rick Dent, Graham, in this room about this size.
It's small.
And they all turned at me and I go, "I'm sorry.
" That's all I said, and Rick goes, "You know, I think this might work.
And he is gonna do it.
" And that right then was probably, if I was ever concerned about, "I don't know, man.
This might get somewhere," be-careful-what-you-ask-for thing, maybe that was the moment for me but it quickly passed.
I was back in.
We didn't have a lot of undercover agents in Jacksonville.
You could call headquarters and say, "We need a undercover agent down here.
" "Well, he's not available for three weeks," and, you know.
And so we'd just kind of rolled the dice and said, "You know what "Doug is a little bit of an actor anyway," so I guess that's when my hair turned white.
Being an undercover agent, it's not just something you raise your hand and decide to do.
There's a stringent process of school, testing, all these things that didn't exactly match with Doug's concept of being undercover.
He anted to get right up there onstage.
He was not a certified undercover.
But for a specific case you can get what they call SAC authority to do undercover work.
And that's what Doug Matthews did, just for that specific case.
My name is Janet Pellicciotti and I was a special agent for the FBI in the Jacksonville Division.
I was our undercover coordinator also and I tried to get him to become an undercover agent because he was a natural.
Undercover was like acting, only it's real.
You sit there and there's a real threat and somebody could harm you.
They could really harm you.
The Jacksonville Division, if you talk to Agent Pellicciotti, is a small division that didn't do a lot of this.
This is basically your one shot to go undercover? Right.
I got to do all the fun and not have to go through all the bullshit.
Yeah, just make it happen.
Hey, Matthews, just make it happen.
I'm thinking to myself, one, "Oh, my God, Really?" And then two is, "Sweet.
" He wanted to be thrown into the lion's den and he wouldn't have gotten it if the SAC did not feel he could handle himself.
So, they got some undercovers to act as a film crew.
My name is Jan Garvin and I was videographer.
When I answered his call, he said, "You're gonna love this.
" Not "Hey, Jan, how's it going? Let's go how was the trip?" "You're gonna love this.
" And after he explained what it was, it was like, "Okay, we can do this," and "Yeah, I'm gonna love it.
" We needed to put together what appears to be a legitimate production company, a video person, an audio person, a director and an interviewer.
I go, "Yeah, I need one just to act like they're the lighting person.
" Nobody needs to see that you're bureau, right? So give me somebody that's not stupid, because we don't know jack, right? In my mind, I just thought, just get on the stage and everything will be fine.
You'll just roll right through.
With any production company and any good undercover operation you need a good name.
In this case we came up with "Shamrock Productions.
" Which is good but I always liked the byline, "'Cause you're just lucky.
" That was good.
We thought about having everybody in this undercover operation be FBI personnel.
They legitimately tried to make that happen.
It just that the way that this scenario had to run, you needed somebody inside McDonald's with that background that would be hard to fake.
My name is Amy Murray.
I've been with McDonald's for 22 years.
The FBI investigation happened 17 years ago, and it's been years since I've talked to anyone.
So in fact, I don't really tell the story that much because how do you drop into conversation that you're part of an FBI investigation? Back in 2001, I was in the Communications Department.
I had only been working on Monopoly and games for about six months.
My boss's boss called me into his office and he was like, "Amy, the FBI has contacted us.
They've told us that the game pieces are being stolen and that the entire game may be compromised by a criminal ring.
" And if you can imagine, I was completely shocked.
I felt sick to my stomach.
To break that trust was just devastating.
How could this possibly happen? I started thinking back to all the answers I heard from Monopoly winners, and it did seem like they were almost scripted.
Hindsight's 20/20 and I started to realize that it did seem like there was a pattern.
You know, I used that word "pattern" and I think that was when the FBI really said, "It would be great to talk to Amy directly since she has so much contact with the winners.
" For a civilian to participate in an undercover operation doesn't happen much at all, for obvious reasons, right? Because if something happens, you want people who are professionals, that are used to being in situations like that.
I was concerned because I wanted to make sure her safety and security was first and foremost.
They said, "Rob, don't worry.
She will be safe.
" We really didn't know how far we'd have to go to help the FBI get evidence.
And, yes there were nerves involved and I was nervous.
But I was all-in.
I wanted to make it right as fast as possible.
So, I would be talking to the FBI sometimes every day, sometimes twice a day.
People were intrigued what's this special project.
I just couldn't talk about this, not to my family, not to my closest friends, not even to co-workers.
We told a couple people in McDonald's and then our team, that's it.
Because we still didn't know, you got to remember this investigation, we didn't know if anybody was infected through corporate, or who.
So we set up a time for Shamrock Productions to go up and visit Mr.
He had already been in contact with Amy and he was very amenable to us coming by to film this commercial that we were putting together.
I'll never forget showing up at an airport, then a white van pulled up with all of the FBI agents and they're like "Hi, Amy," and I was introduced to all of them.
I really had to talk to Doug about this is what a producer would do.
This is what the cameraman would do.
And I was just playing myself.
The first time we're going out there, I think I had like a golf shirt on.
I looked like maybe I played nine holes or something like that.
Amy told me a director looks like somebody who came off the golf course.
So, I'm excited, right? But I have a lot of apprehension as well.
It's the first one, you want it to be seamless and you don't know what to expect.
As an agent you wanna carry a gun and wear a bulletproof vest.
But in an undercover operation, that may be too much risk.
You wear an ankle holster and then you sit down at a chair and somebody sees it, so.
You had that little extra antenna going up to make sure you don't say anything or do anything that would trigger the suspect to look at you crossways and go, "Hmm.
" I had butterflies in my stomach.
I was nervous about not wrecking the investigation.
I wanted to make sure I did a good job, that I wasn't causing any suspicion.
It's an adrenaline that happens through your system.
You feel fully awake and alive.
She was very nervous and I'm like, "You talk to these people all the time, right?" "Yeah, but not like this.
" And I go, "There's not like this.
You don't know anything about our investigation.
They don't, either, so forget about that.
" She's laughing, like, how am I supposed to forget about that, right? I said, "You got to forget about that and just do what you normally do.
" We're very close to the exit.
We know where it is.
Just stay as close as you can because I don't know what to expect.
Any civilian that you bring in, you're gonna tell them, "We have a team.
There's always a team outside.
If anything happens, they'll be there immediately to make sure you're safe and secure.
" We have distress calls, things like that.
So, if the undercover agent says a certain word, "I feel like a terrible flu is coming on," something's really gone wrong, we got a problem.
And so they went to his home, they came in And so you have the FBI agents, unbeknownst to Mr.
Hoover, with the cameras on their shoulder.
If we were set up to record anything, we would hit the record button.
You never know what you're gonna capture.
Always gold when they don't know it.
The greatest thing in the world about all of this is we had a camera rolling.
- Would you take that to your bank? - What was that? You think you could take that to your local bank to cash? I doubt it.
I doubt it.
And suddenly one of you says, "We'll do this at the end".
Amy, she worked her McDonald's magic and she had all this confetti popper stuff and the big check.
We never know, whenever we get a call from Amy where we're gonna It's always good to find out where she always takes us to a different area.
A good surprise.
Yeah, that's definitely childproof.
I mean, it's a big check.
I think it was taller than her, actually.
Everything had to seem very natural.
It had to seem like we had done this a million times.
We made sure that I always called Doug Doug and not Agent Matthews because it would have been really bad if suddenly I was like, "Agent Matthews, can you go do this?" Amy was really nervous, the whole time.
Which is good.
It was healthy to be that way because I told her I was, too, and I wasn't lying to her.
She's used to this, I'm not, even though I say, "Oh, I got this," right? She had no idea that I had never done this before but I loved it.
- There's his Monopoly.
- All right.
It's got to be sinking in now.
Now it's official, Ronald McDonald, the official signature.
Doug Matthews could talk to a wall and get it to respond.
He's got that little bit of a southern drawl and everybody sort of likes him.
He's like, "Gosh, darn, you won.
" There was no risk that somebody's gonna think, "Well, this guy is an FBI agent and this is an undercover operation.
" No FBI agent laughs as much as this guy does.
I go, "Wow, this really looks like it's had a woman's touch here.
It was all this plaid, just this shit, which is probably why I did it.
And I said all kinds of stuff, again We need to move this out, make everybody seem real comfortable with uncomfortable things which is what I'm good at.
Tell us the story about how you won at the Monopoly Game, in your own words.
They started out pretty peaceful, it was a day off and I went to the beach for a while.
I ended up actually falling asleep at the beach.
And when I woke up, the wind had come up and was covered with sand, not a lot, but a little bit of sand.
I picked up my belongings and I headed down to the water there to wash my legs off with the sand and I was a little klutzy.
The People Magazine and my towel fell out of the backpack into the water, and got all wet.
I ended up throwing those away on the way to the car.
After I was coming home I decided to stop and get provisions for dinner.
So I stopped at the McQuade's Supermarket and picked up a few things and I had never got a chance to read the magazine.
And it was right there at the checkout stand, so I bought one.
When I got home I was leafing through it.
We had the McDonald's Monopoly Game and it had instant prize winners on it, or they had the quick pick, I don't know what they're called.
And the first one I peeled off I believe was Pennsylvania Avenue, the second one I peeled off was a million-dollar instant prize winner.
It was like, "Wow is this for real?" And then I followed the directions and made the calls and talked to the people and it was for real.
Amy is just used to getting the story, but for me I'm putting legs to that.
And he was mentioning some grocery store and so I go, "Which one? Is it right here? Hey, can you take us there?" He goes, "Sure.
" He's feeding off the energy part.
No, wasn't about to stop that, that was great.
It's a field trip, right? I'm getting calls.
"What the fuck are you doing? I mean, why-what, this is like, are you adlibbing?" And I'd go, "Hey, Jan," my camera guy, right? "Can you get this?" "Yeah, I can get it.
" Doug struck me as one of the new breed of agents who thinks outside the box if you will, but he was gung-ho from the get-go.
This is where I got the People Magazine and inside we had the Monopoly Game with the instant one-million-dollar winner, and it was great, it's fantastic.
- Great.
- Got it, okay.
He's telling us how he won the prize, all the BS His was a magazine-type thing which at the time I didn't even know.
I go, "Really? I thought you got this off the packages.
" And Amy's like, "Did you read any of that shit I sent you," right? And I go, "Of course I did.
Which, I may have glossed over.
" So I go, "Hey, what'd you do with the money?" Why? Because I wanna go seize that stuff, right? And he's like, "I'm buying a boat.
" And so I go, "What name would you have on the back of your boat?" And he was like, "Ruthless Scoundrel.
" - One, two, three.
- Thanks, McDonald's.
So I'm reenacting that.
And I go, "So, Michael, you were on the beach?" "Yes, and it's right here, it's this beach," and I go, "Really? Take us to it.
" And I didn't care what that meant to my camera guy, right? He's like, "Are you kidding me? I got to the damn beach?" There's always somebody that could respond tactically if needed.
But if something went south between the time something went south and the time they got there Don't do anything stupid.
Doug was a professional but he also did like to have fun.
He loved to tease me and kept me on my toes.
This is what makes my fun meter go.
Amy's back there going, "Look at these shoes I have," and I'm not looking at shit like that, I said, "Take your high heels, why are you wearing high heels anyway?" She was getting on to me about, "Hey, can you plan this better," but I didn't know.
Can you get enough sound if he tells the story one more time? - Do you need it? We can try it.
- Okay.
Anybody noticing you yet? - Not really.
- Good.
You keep people from grabbing this check about right now.
When Doug's at the house it was a controlled environment.
When you're out in the real world, there's nothing controlled.
You're always wary, the operation and the case could be uncompromised.
This is where I lost my People Magazine.
I'm glad that after the beach I stopped and picked up another one because when I did, I found the McDonald's Monopoly Game, one-million-dollar instant prize winner.
All right, great.
Obviously this was Doug's very first undercover and so you'd wanna try to keep him under control, keep him sedated, so to speak.
They don't make it easy.
So, I'm like, "Man I got plenty, I got enough.
" Can I do a couple of artsy things, okay, real quick? Hey.
He'd stand there smiling and you're doing all this artsy stuff, and then some kid ran up and grabbed the check to, to run away with it.
I'm gonna let this evidence just walk? No way.
And I'm tracking down the beach.
And it's like, "Dude, it's not real.
" That was bad news.
That's not a good problem to have being an undercover agent.
And this guy is hammered, fortunately he's running like in a zigzag so it's easy to catch.
This kid, he was like full of sand in his mouth and crap and I'm like, "Dude, you see these, I don't know what I'm gonna do with all this sand.
" And he's like, "Man, I just saw all those zeroes and thought I'm just gonna go take it.
" And I can't even remember where he wounded off but we never saw him again.
Sometimes on a case being lucky is better than being good.
No Asics, no nothing, and we still caught that dude because he was hammered and we were not.
And we did get the check back.
It worked great, Amy was phenomenal and I'm like, "Man, undercover is awesome.
" Turned out it tickled our wire up.
Michael Hoover would be on the phones which is great because then we were listening to that, recording it.
Again, it got him comfortable, it actually worked, all that works.
At that time I was here in Jacksonville in the, what we call, wire room.
We were listening in for what we hoped to be a telephone call to this Uncle Jerry.
And immediately there's a phone call by Mr.
Hoover to Mr.
Glomb down in South Florida.
We were up on three or four phones.
One was this guy, Andrew Glomb.
Andrew Glomb was the guy with a checkered past.
He had previously convicted for some drug charges on the federal side with the DEA.
He had been in a drug trafficking thing.
He was a fugitive for a while, eventually got arrested and he did some time.
And so, Mr.
Hoover had called Mr.
Ring, ring.
Ring, ring.
"Hello, yeah, Andy.
" That's Andy Glomb.
"Andy, they were here, they believed everything I told them about winning the ticket on that People Magazine.
" "And I was telling them I did this, and I did that.
" And at the very same time I'm on my cell phone talking to Doug Matthews and telling him, "Listen to this.
" The feeling from him on the phone call was "Man, I got them snowed," it was that, l mean, it was perfect, exactly what you're after.
He's talking, "Man, you're not gonna believe it.
This director asked me about the name of my boat.
I said 'Ruthless Scoundrel.
"' And they're just laughing on the phone how funny that was to them because they knew they had lied and had stolen this money from McDonald's.
In that call effectively what he's doing is confirming beyond any doubt that he didn't win it.
It just doesn't get any better than that.
It's like high fives.
That was why you get up on these wiretaps.
So we're hearing how they did it.
At the time, we didn't know how big this was.
We knew of some, but we didn't know it all.
It was amazing to me how little we did know.
The spider web of all, we had this Uncle Jerry, everything was very general, nebulous.
We still didn't know, you got to remember, who this Jerry person was, if there even was a Jerry.
So, all of the newer agents, we were on the wiretaps to find out more about the depths of this scheme.
Back then I was a new agent and my first assignment when I was brought in was to work the wire.
My Title III has to be monitored full time, 24/7.
You hear the call, grab your headset, you put it on, you listen to the call.
We're listening in the wire room and I'm hearing the name Uncle Jerry thrown around on the phone.
"Uncle Jerry, Uncle Jerry.
You don't wanna make Uncle Jerry upset.
" I do remember clearly feeling like I was in New York and I was listening to a mobster talking about running his mafia empire, some mafia don, because that's kind of how this guy came off.
So we had to find Uncle Jerry.
I mean, how do you do that? We did an analysis of phone records from past winners.
You look for that common number.
We knew when they won the prizes, what year, and we could cord it off to a month so we backed up to and went forward to.
We culled the phone numbers coming in and going out for this period of time.
Lo and behold, each of their phone numbers were calling common numbers.
We saw the activity heavy coming in right before the prize was awarded or claimed, and then heavy right after it, and then nothing.
And then none of them were related, they didn't know each other.
All were hitting that number.
All these phone calls include one person.
Jerome Jacobson, also known as Jerry Jacobson, the absolute head of security for Simon Marketing.

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