McMillions (2020) s01e05 Episode Script

Episode 5

My name is Jared Jacobson, and my father is Jerry Jerome Jacobson.
Come here, boys.
Come here.
Bailey, come here.
I grew up in Miami.
Once my mom got divorced from him, he cut all ties.
I was three years old when they got divorced.
So this is a picture of me as a baby with my dad and my mom's dad.
My mom called him and requested for back child support when I was 13, and that's when he popped on the radar.
That's when I really met him for the first time.
During the summer, I would go fly up to Atlanta and spend three or four weeks up there with him, getting to know him a little bit.
I believe he was living with Alison.
This is a picture of the wedding party when my dad and Linda got married.
That's my mom in the picture with me and him.
I think it's one of the only pictures I had with the three of us together.
My mom is Carol Cody.
Do you remember if she was the first wife? Second wife? I was his third marriage.
Really, I was his fourth.
Out of I think we counted seven.
Wait a minute.
Phyllis, Carol, Daryl, me, Alison, and Linda.
He's been married six times.
If he was married with that marriage license down in Miami, it's seven.
The first time I got the text about the possibility of a documentary series within two minutes, I got a phone call saying, "Hey, if anybody calls or talks to you or wants to talk about this thing, don't do it.
" I'm not gonna call him and ask permission to do this with you, guys.
I think this is my way of Having maybe a little bit of closure.
This is definitely gonna put the nail in the coffin for our relationship.
And you know what? I'm okay with it.
MCMILLIONS I tried to keep my mouth shut but it didn't work.
I knew that I had to do something.
She was gonna run with the money.
So, the FBI said you threatened to kill her.
- Did you talk to your wife about it? - No.
I didn't threaten to kill her.
I just told my wife, "We can't do this in the airport.
" I meant we can't confront her in the airport.
I didn't mean anything other than we cannot confront her in the airport.
Turned out to be a misunderstanding, but you still have to run it out to make sure.
The long and short of it is it wasn't a valid threat.
Right after that, my wife took her sister to the bank to cash the check and was attached at the hips with her until she did the right thing with the money.
So after that airport drama we started to focus on Dwight even more.
So were up on these wiretaps.
And Rick and I hear something's happening with Uncle Jerry.
A phone call was intercepted between Jacobson and Dwight Baker.
The conversation was that Jacobson and Dwight were going to meet for the exchange of a winning piece.
That exchange was going to happen somewhere in Georgia.
They say on the phone, "I'll be there in an hour and fifteen minutes," or something like that.
We had that window.
They didn't name the place where they were gonna meet but they gave hints.
The usual place.
- You mean along the highway? - Yeah.
Along the highway.
So we hurried up, we got on the maps, and we figured out that it was somewhere along 85 near Atlanta.
We had a certain area, but we didn't know.
We thought but we weren't sure.
So I got on the phone with Atlanta to tell them, "Hey, this is what's coming up.
" So they were cued up and ready.
They mobilized quick.
They had to get there and get visual.
Then we had air support, surveillance group down in their cars.
We're looking at rest areas, places on the side of the road, everywhere.
It was on.
I remember looking at this golf resort north of Atlanta.
It's got to be this place.
Seems to be about halfway.
It's got to be.
Where would you guys meet? Would you go to his house? We met at his house one time, Chateau Elan, a winery between here and there.
It's halfway.
FBI surveillance Chateau Elan Sometimes we'd eat, or we'd sat in the car and trade and trade money.
We had an FBI pilot up in the air, and could see Mr.
Jacobson handing Mr.
Baker something in a folder.
And there it was.
And off they go.
The video evidence speaks volumes of the illegal acts they were doing.
It's pretty short but sweet.
We got you now.
It was about the end of the summer, and the game is ending.
We weren't gonna have another game.
We already have identified Jerry.
We had identified Mr.
Baker in fair play.
We had identified Mr.
We had identified and videoed Mr.
And we had several others.
Devereaux is good.
He's laying out the indictment, the arrest warrants.
We're gonna take this through the grand jury, get the true bills which is the indictment, and we're gonna go out and effect these arrests.
In this case, the charges were conspiracy and mail fraud.
If you use the United States mail in furtherance of a scheme and artifice to defraud, that's penalized by up to 20 years in prison.
The initial stage was the indictment of the first eight.
So the first thing that was gonna make the news, and alert all the winners that, "Hey, the gig is over," was the end of August, August 21st.
Everybody was spread across the country, and so we ended up having to request the assistance of numerous offices spread entirely across the United States.
You have to provide those agents enough information to make arrests.
So in anticipation of the takedown, we had prepared a very, very lengthy communication.
So it's our whole plan.
It's the background of the investigation.
This communication was probably 20 or 30 pages long.
Very, very specific, in-depth.
Puts you right there.
We faxed it.
And I'm not going to say who did it.
I'll say I didn't, but there may have been somebody I know closely that did it that would deny it.
Doesn't matter who it was, but On the speed dial, which I never use speed dial The agents sending that plan thought the speed dial and faxed Greenville FBI when in fact it said The Greenville News.
It ended up being probably the worst person in the world, a news agency.
This is a big issue now, right? Like all the stuff's out there.
Now, you got people that might be waiting on agents to come arrest them.
It's bad, bad, bad.
Rick Dent's big head was sweating bad.
Devereaux was sweating it.
Chris Graham was losing weight over that.
I remember being really, really angry about it.
How in the world, you know? How could this happen? Now it's, "How do we fix it? How do we keep them from going with the story?" After all this work, this could really screw things up.
My name is John Boyanoski.
In 2001, I was a reporter for The Greenville News.
I've been there six or seven months.
I was the crime and court's reporter.
So anything bad happened, anything that had an official-looking document that came across the fax, would come to my desk.
I came down Monday morning, and there was a stapled thing on my chair.
And I picked it up and I saw FBI on it.
Three paragraphs in, I'm thinking, "This doesn't sound right.
" This is an open investigation.
You're talking about surveillance in here.
I thought, "It's the background, no, they're" I started flipping through, and it's all surveillance stuff and background information.
"I don't think this is supposed to be going to Boyanoski and The Greenville.
" I remember I turned around my chair and I got my boss.
I'm like, "Dave, did you look at this? Where did this come from?" I looked at him like, "Dave, I think we have an open FBI investigation.
" He's like, "What?" When he start looking at it, his eyes go like this.
I'm 24 years old.
I'm trying to make a name for myself, and I wanna write a story.
I'm like, "Yeah," you know? Exclusive.
McDonald's investigation.
FBI are looking into a big fraud case.
So Mark Devereaux's first response was just jump in the bureau plane and slide down to South Carolina.
Each office surveillance squad has usually a Cessna 160 or something.
If you're ever in a Volkswagen bug in the early '70s, it's like a lawnmower in the sky.
I'm looking at that going, "No way in hell I wanna be a part of that again.
" Devereaux being in that controlled-ass environment with him and a Tide bottle, that's the only way you got to pee, can you imagine that? That's an awful situation to be in.
Literally, we get in a plane, fly from Jacksonville to South Carolina to do our best to ensure that faux pas didn't cause a significant embarrassment.
That plane sucked.
I can tell you, at that point in time, that news agency had no requirement to keep it quiet.
We did beg, plead asking them if they would be kind enough basically to keep that to themselves.
There was a little bit of, "What are we gonna get for it?" Can't say we bribed them, but I will say that we gave them an opportunity to be able to take a photograph possibly following the arrest in connection with the investigation.
Their thing was, "If you could just give us the exclusive.
" It was something, at least, to sweeten the deal and thank them for covering up the mistake that Special Agent Mathews, I didn't say that, may have made.
So I wanna say, now that I'm saying it and remembering all this, it was not me that faxed that freaking thing over.
It was somebody else.
I can promise you every time I'd use a fax machine, I check it not once, not twice, but at least three times.
If anybody ever knew how close this was just to blowing up, I know that those subjects who may see this, would go, "Damn it.
How did that not happen?" Too bad, right? It didn't.
We were the good guys.
It always works better for the good guys.
We always find a way.
Which is what I'm saying happened there.
The night before Attorney General Ashcroft gave us the go-ahead to take the action.
Day of the takedown, it's a very early morning.
5:00 in the morning, you're getting up and making sure everybody's ready.
Regardless of whether you believe that person is violent or not, you still have to be very careful as to your tactical approach anytime that you engage in the arrest of an individual because you're taking away their liberties and they pretty much know that.
The arrests were scheduled to all go down at the same time so that there won't be conversation.
And Jacksonville sent agents to each location, so that somebody that's familiar with the case will be able to be there to help with the arrest.
My role that day, as the supervisor on the squad in the command post was really kind of coordinating.
And if there was problems out in the field, any decision about how to handle it is gonna come through me.
I was in charge of the arrest of Brenda Phenis in Indiana.
I had to take down Dwight Baker.
My duty on takedown day was Gloria Brown here at Jacksonville.
I sit in the FBI's office, we can hear them, "We're making the move now.
" It sounded like a mid-90s Michael Bay kind of thing.
You're hearing, "Go, go, go.
" So I got Glomb.
By far the nastier, more potential danger of anybody else.
And then, you know me, it's always a contest with no matter what.
So I'm gonna get my guy before anybody else.
My guy, Glomb, was behind a fortress.
A legitimate, big-time cameras everywhere, big gates.
Chances are he won't open the gate.
At the same time, I wanna be first.
So we had to find a way to get Glomb to come out.
The thing we came up with was he has to come out and get his paper.
So that gate opens up, who do you think walks out and gets the paper? The wife, right? Not him.
So I'm going, "Oh, God.
I'm gonna ram this car through the front gate.
" I have got ready, just getting ready to leave the house, and I see somebody walking by the kitchen window.
I look out the door, see FBI.
They haven't knocked on the door yet.
So I ran upstairs, tell my wife, I said, "The FBI is out front.
" So when they knocked on the door, it was Astralaga.
We show him the arrest warrant.
We gained access to the property and he is taken into custody.
In the command post, we kept hearing, "So and so has been arrested.
So and so confessed.
Can't find this person.
So and so is arrested.
They're denying everything.
" And so Rick Dent went to Atlanta to get Uncle Jerry.
Jerry Jacobson.
The arrest of Jerry was in early morning in his house.
Knock, knock, knock.
"The FBI.
Open up.
" I remember Jerry initially, doing what you would expect a former police officer to do was clam up.
You know, he realized his goose was cooked, so to speak.
Eventually he received his jewelry, silver handcuffs.
At Jerry Jacobson's arrest, he had some Honda sports car thing that he was riding around in that we seized.
And just cash in a trash bag, in the trunk of his car.
Who does that shit? Who carries that crap around? Really? My first interaction with Jerry Jacobson was at the federal courthouse in Atlanta.
And I was in Atlanta because Jerry Jacobson was the head of the snake, and I wanted to personally advise him of the charges against him.
Sources say that the FBI will announce that it has made arrests in an alleged scheme to defraud the McDonald's Corporation by rigging its recent Monopoly game.
Now, the FBI would only say that it has scheduled a news conference for 2:15 this afternoon but sources tell CNN seven of the eight people are in custody.
Sources say the eighth was indicted, not arrested yet.
Still being sought.
I lay it out, "I'm gonna be the first.
" I was the last.
The last one to get their guy.
So we needed to draw Glomb out.
And then I came up with what I thought was a great idea.
Broward County Sheriff comes to the gate and says, "Do you guys mind coming down here and identifying these guys? They were robbing a house here, and I want you to identify them.
" I said, "I don't care.
" They had bothered me.
He said it'll only take a couple of minutes.
I say okay.
And then I went outside.
And, of course, they grabbed me outside, and he says, "You're under arrest for mail fraud.
" I said, "Mail fraud? What's that?" He says, "On the McDonald's.
" I said, "Oh, okay.
" Didn't have a clue that they were on to this case.
He didn't say nothing else.
I say, "Can I get you a cup of coffee?" Mathews was one of the original people who arrested me.
Had some snippets of the phone calls to let him know we had what we had.
He decided not to cooperate.
One of the very few.
I remember we were arguing in the car.
He said, "You think you're some gangster or something?" I said, "Yeah.
And you think you're Don Johnson?" You know, from Miami Vice.
At the end, he was okay.
In the front, he was a little bit of an asshole.
- You did offer him a cup of coffee.
- I did.
I'm that way.
I'm very friendly.
It wasn't just the takedown, there were a number of people on the initial indictment that we charged.
On top of that, I needed to have agents going out to interview all these other winners.
What we didn't wanna happen was somebody who is a "winner" to be sitting at home and see this takedown, and then have two or three weeks to think about it.
Think about what they're gonna say.
Or worse yet, hop on a plane and move to South America.
If you played the popular McDonald's Monopoly game and thought you'd never win the top price, you may have been right.
In Washington, the Attorney General and FBI announced eight people were arrested for defrauding McDonald's and its customers.
My work said to me, "The FBI's looking for you.
" I'm like, "What? Shit.
This is the FBI.
" My friends were from Louisiana, from the swamp, they go, "We wanna hide you out in the bayou.
" But then they were like, "You can never contact anybody anymore.
" Just like in TV script.
You can't talk to anybody.
"Oh, hell no.
I can't do that.
" And, finally, they caught up with me.
They finally found me at home.
They were very nice to me, they were just straight to the point, and they got what they wanted to hear from me.
I decided I was gonna be the one to go down the street and interview Buddy Fisher.
He was a little surprised, but didn't try to tell us anything other than what really happened.
Nice guy.
So through the course of the interview I had with Dwight Baker, he implicated George Chandler, his foster son in the scheme.
At that point, we made a determination to reach out to George Chandler and talk to him about his involvement.
I was on I-20 and my cell phone rang.
My secretary came on the phone and said, "George, there's two guys in the office here from the FBI who would like to speak to you.
" "Put them on the phone.
" Who don't wanna talk to the FBI? So this guy comes on the phone, and his name is Special Agent Astralaga.
And he said, "Mr.
Chandler, we've arrested this morning Dwight and Linda Baker for their involvement in the McDonald's Monopoly games scam, and we would like to speak to you about your involvement.
" And the first thing out of my mouth was, "If you've arrested Dwight and Linda Baker, you've got the wrong people.
" For some reason, I was home that day, and my sister called me.
I picked up the phone, called her and said, "Are you watching television?" She said no.
And I said, "Well, turn it on.
" William Fisher and Gloria Brown both live in Jacksonville.
Prosecutors say the plot was And there was my name on the screen, Gloria Brown indicted.
I just folded up in the kitchen by myself.
Again, there I was alone.
I'm like, "Okay.
" Before I can get to even listen to what was on the television about me, my doorbell rang.
Opened the door, and there was this detective there.
I'm like, "Oh, my God.
" She was denying being involved in anything.
I sped up to the fact of, "We're not talking about what you did or not.
We're just talking about how much time in prison you're gonna serve.
You might wanna go ahead and start cooperating now.
" And I had decided this time the lie's gonna be over and I just told them.
There was no need for me to lie anymore.
She basically told us what we needed to know, and we already knew again, because we knew the scheme, the recruiting formula, how it happened.
I saw her shoulders sink a little bit.
I'm saying to myself, "Do I need a lawyer first?" That's the kind of stuff.
"Am I doing the right thing?" I just didn't know what to do.
I never thought about what to do once I got caught.
And I was not sure if they was gonna take me with them.
I was waiting on a police car to pull up out front.
When they walked to the door I walked to the door with them.
When they say that, "We'll be getting back with you," I was so happy right in that moment.
I said, "At least that way I get a chance to make some arrangements.
" The deal was if they didn't cooperate, we're gonna arrest, if they did cooperate, we're gonna take their statement and then go ahead and document it, and they refer to the case agent who would then take it to the federal prosecutor.
I was almost done with my prison time for doing the fraud that I did.
And I see there's two tall gentlemen in seats.
They said, "We're here for the McDonald's Monopoly," and they had this poster laid out.
And Uncle Jerry was the middle bubble.
They had all these bubbles all around.
And then they had this-sized bubbles.
And I was that-sized bubble connected to him.
And it was, "Jerry Colombo, deceased.
" There's my picture, "Robin Colombo, incarcerated.
" And I'm looking over it and I go, "Hmm, okay.
" I said, "Tell you what, give me your card and if I can think of anything, I will get in touch with you, how about that?" And they said, "No, that's not how that works, Mrs.
" I said, "That's how this is gonna work right now.
" I said, "Let me tell you something, I have a little boy out there and a daughter, and you don't know who you're messing with, and I'm not gonna put their lives in jeopardy.
" I got the card.
They go to leave.
And I'm going to leave.
I'm thinking, "Okay.
" I'm going back down to the girl's part, right? Well, here come the officers from the prison.
They go, "Colombo, come back up here.
" They went to shackle me and I'm like, "Wait, what are you doing?" They said, "Your custody level has changed now because you're under investigation.
" I said, "No, I'm not.
" I said, "So, whatever this is all?" They said, "Yeah.
" I said, "Hold this," "No, Mrs.
" I said, "Leave me alone, I'm calling the Feds.
" I ran to the double doors and I kicked the double door open.
I said, "Hey, come here.
" They said, "Oh, you wanna talk?" I said, "Yeah.
" "Come on, come on.
" "Hey, Mike, can I have some coffee? Can we have coffee? I think they want coffee.
" I said, "You really know more than I do, honestly.
" And of course, they're like, "Well, why don't you humor us?" I said, "Well, let's do this, I need a cigarette, so let's take a cigarette right now, let's take them out of here.
"You really got to smoke that?" "I really do.
You got my nerves racked.
" As a matter of fact, I need one now, talking about it.
"You really should quit those things," I said, "Yeah, today's not the day.
" 6:00 came and they took me in where the TV room was.
John Ashcroft came on television and my knees got weak and whatever.
This morning the agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested eight individuals in several states for their involvement in a nationwide scheme to defraud McDonald's Corporation and its customers, by fraudulently manipulating McDonald's promotional prize contests.
We want those involved in this type of corruption to know that breaking the law is not a game.
That day everything went really, literally, according to plan.
It made for a very fun interesting day and one I'll never forget.
I wanna commend the fine work of the FBI and the Jacksonville division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Everyone involved in this investigation worked hard to break this conspiracy.
How do we miss this? There are seven winners in the 864 area code the last four years, how do never put two and two together ourselves if they kept coming from the same darn area? And we've done stories, big stories on two or three other winners, the million-dollar winners, too, and we had never put it together.
That's one of things where there's a kick on ourselves and for journalism.
"We never put that one together.
" There's a bit of egg on our face.
Well, this story is going to make a lot of people angry.
Prosecutors say it appears McDonald's customers never really had a chance to win the biggest prizes.
Frankly the odds of your winning that million-dollar jackpot in McDonald's weren't that good to begin with.
The FBI said the odds were really about one in zero.
They need to serve time for that, definitely.
Many of the winners were from the same family or were closely related.
At the center of the fraud ring prosecutors say Jerome Jacobson assigned to place the winning big cash game pieces into circulation.
Instead the FBI says he stole them.
Passing winning game pieces to his friends, who then recruited others to come forward and claim the big prizes.
Jacobson was given a Go to Jail card for keeping the winning tickets.
And since the FBI today, they had a confidential informant who tipped them off at first.
Someone who had knowledge of the scheme.
McDonald's was devastated by the news, while a stunned spokesperson for Parker Brothers had only this reaction.
We want you to have the opportunity to see who Mr.
Jacobs is.
He's 58 years old and he's married and has a family.
He knows the seriousness of these charges and he also knows that he faces very serious potential punishment in prison if convicted of these charges.
We know many of you have attempted to contact him, his wife, and his family, and have been in his neighborhood.
We are asking you to allow there to be some privacy for his family and for his neighbors.
Jerry Jacobson had retained council fairly quickly, an attorney by the name of Ed Garland.
And so my involvement was then talking to the attorney.
Once he has retained council, I have instructed him that I should analyze the case before he speaks further with the government.
Are you gonna share your motto? We follow the motto, "A fish wouldn't get caught if he kept his mouth shut.
" That's what a defendant needs to know.
Stop the music, stand behind us, we do the fighting and the talking for you.
We're saying that you have a rogue employee that embezzles a piece, steals it, bottom line.
It was pretty clear that Mark was coming full force.
The first conversation was plead straight up to the indictment and bring every penny you have and your wife has.
The threats of "I will take everything down to her engagement ring.
" Mark is a very effective lawyer, a very talented lawyer and uses his power in a very assertive way on behalf of his client, the United States.
Ed and I had many cases together and he's a very experienced attorney.
But I've told him that the chances for Mr.
Jacobson to go to trial and come out without a conviction was zero.
When you deal with a lawyer like that you've got let him know you're unintimidated and unintimidatable.
So it became tense and confrontational immediately.
Jacobs will not be making any statements about this case until he appears in court.
That was a very interesting day.
I turn on CNN headline news, boom, picture of my dad.
And it was like, "Wow.
" In the back of my mind, I was like, "I knew it.
Mom and I always knew there was something wrong and here it is.
Right here in front of us now, right here on TV.
" It's not a surprise.
He was good at manipulating people, he was good at it.
But that's my dad.
I guess I was always questioning the legitimacy of everything.
There was always something new, it was always trips, and it was always spending things extravagantly it seemed like to me.
My mom and I always joked that we always thought there was something not right about him.
I knew he kept secrets from me.
Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
And that's how I dealt with him.
If I didn't ask him any questions, he didn't have to lie to me.
For instance, he said that he had this swampland.
He might go out and buy me something and I would say, "Jerry, that's a lot of money.
" He would go, "I sold a piece of swampland.
" Jerry was always trying to figure the easy way.
How do you get a free lunch? The moral of the story is there are no free lunches.
But there may be some brownies hidden somewhere.
Does that make any sense? Mr.
Jacobson was not helping us, and so the question was still ongoing.
How did he get the game pieces? We know he did, but how did he do it? We didn't know if Dittler Brothers was involved.
There was no details to anything.
We don't know if it's just Jerry, we don't know if it's everybody in there.
I was furious Jerry did what he did, he put all of those people at risk.
And we took a trip and actually went to Dittler Brothers because there might be somebody there inside.
When the FBI came in and shut everything down and started gathering their evidence Somebody came by and said, "The FBI's here.
You got to make sure that you don't go anywhere near there.
" Somebody's in trouble.
Somebody's in trouble, but what effect this is gonna have? Don't know.
Well, Roger, first let me underscore the fact that Jerome Jacobson was not a McDonald's employee.
He was in fact an employee of Simon Marketing, which was the firm that McDonald's had contracted to administer its games.
McDonald's says tonight it's fired the Georgia company that ran the contests and now the FBI is investigating how many other instant winners weren't so instant after all.
The deception by Simon Marketing was unacceptable.
We really trusted them to run the game for us.
We had to end the relationship to gain the trust back with our customers.
Pretty much, I had to say McDonald's was 98% of our business.
The FBI showed up one day at the front door and shut us down.
When the information came out, their stock went from approximately a hundred dollars to basically fifty cents.
God, these are bad.
It was the largest one day drop on the American Stock Exchange.
Ensuring that these games are secure, that is how they make their living.
Two days after McDonald's fired Simon Marketing from all future promotions, a second major company has also pulled the plug.
A couple of days later, Kraft came out and cancelled their contract.
There's nothing left.
So in effect, the Chicago, LA, Atlanta offices here in the States, we had an office in London, Paris, Hong Kong and several manufacturing facilities in China.
The people at Simon Marketing were good people, they were professional, we really loved working with them.
So, it was devastating when one bad apple wrecked the lives of so many people.
They're gone, man, they're gone.
We spent one night in jail.
For my bail, they asked for a million dollars.
The judge said, "For this, you want a million dollars?" He said 200,000.
The Lord blessed me in the past situation.
I had three lots that were free and clear.
The tax value was exactly two hundred thousand of those three lots.
So, that was just a miracle.
These three lots here, the lake is over on this side but these three lots here are the three lots that I put up as collateral for my property bond.
I understood at that time something was amiss with Dwight's story.
And I immediately called Dwight, and I remember being incredulous with him.
Who was the guy that was going through the divorce, where did you get his ticket? What's going on? He said, "George, I can't talk about it right now.
Don't worry, you don't have anything to worry about.
You didn't do anything wrong.
It was me.
" And I wasn't gravely concerned about it.
The thing that surprised me is they gave me bond.
They never should have gave me bond.
I'm telling you, I was a fugitive back in the '80s.
So, I was a mistake.
I'm home about two days, there's two guys at the gate with suits on.
I said, "They came back for me.
That's the marshals coming to get me.
" Here's Jehovah Witnesses.
I was never so happy to talk to a Jehovah Witness in my life.
I was in my maternity shop in Coral Gables.
We have a TV there.
And they broke in the news that the McDonald's thing had just been busted.
I was fucking floored, fucking floored.
Two seconds later two FBI agents walked in my store, Doug Mathews and Rick Dent, and they said they'd like to talk to me about the McDonald's case.
I knew I was fucked.
I knew I was fucked.
I'll be honest with you, I don't know if Jerry turned me in or not.
Right after it happened I flew to Atlanta, Georgia, I said, "Jerry, how the fuck could you do this?" And he says, "How the fuck, I thought we were done.
" I was really pissed because I had thought that night we were done.
I had hired a local attorney to go with me to the meeting with the FBI.
And he called me and said, "George, you've been indicted.
" I was in shock.
You don't know how to react because you're charged with a federal crime.
My name appears in a text of major newspapers and on major television stations all across the nation.
Friends are calling me, family's calling me, business acquaintances are calling me, customers are calling me, employees are calling me.
I didn't know what to tell him.
I didn't know what to tell my son who's eight years old at the time.
Every kid in the school has a question for our son, and I don't know how to help him.
It was devastating.
George was very angry, upset, hurt.
But I tried to explain to him that I did everything in my power to protect him from this.
At some point in time, though, and it was in fairly short order you snap out, I snapped out of it and I took action.
I went down to Jacksonville and started making phone calls looking for what I termed the best criminal lawyer in town.
I'm Curtis Scott Fallgatter, I'm an attorney.
I've been an attorney for about 40 years.
I was a federal prosecutor here in town for 17 years and I've been on private practice for 20 years.
I was blessed to have been selected one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Northeast Florida or the last couple of decades.
In 2001 I met George Chandler, he was 29 years old.
Ninth grade education, but he's a brilliant young man.
I was very impressed with his candor and he explained how he had been hoodwinked by his foster father, which of course demonstrates his innocence.
I thought, "Well, we can probably make this case go away pretty easily.
" So I picked up the phone and called Mr.
Fallgatter interviewed me in January of 1989 when I got hired in this office.
He's been to my house many times, I've been to his house many times.
At one point in time we were very sociable.
Not so much anymore.
I'd explained to him how George had been hoodwinked, did not know the tickets have been stolen or embezzled, and Mr.
Devereaux's response was, "If I had dropped Mr.
Chandelier's case I'd have to drop several others.
" I was the first person to turn themselves in.
I mean, they had me.
I was scared as shit because just the name Mark Devereaux reminded me of those old southern gentlemen.
I mean, I'll never forget the first time I met him.
The only thing he said to me, "Don't ever lie to me.
" He said, "Just don't ever lie to me.
" I says, "Man, I did whatever I did, not tell you everything I did.
I ain't gonna lie.
" Because I've never believed in lying anyhow, I wasn't gonna start then.
The plan is to find the path to victory if it is there, to protect the client, to help the client.
So if you start out "I'm just gonna plead guilty," you never go through the mental discipline of "Can I find the way?" We probably started ads, "If you want him as a witness, give him immunity," something like that.
And that would have met head-on with the 180-degree opposite position.
Is a plea a possibility for this case? A plea is always a possibility.
The issue of how he will address these charges is being evaluated.
When you talk about what Jerry was facing, it gets complicated.
If you start adding up all of the different counts he was charged with, he was facing a lot of time.
And I know it was well over 10.
I remember it having a sense of huge sympathy for the ordeal it was being imposed on, and in the way it was being imposed.
Prosecutors say this is the man who started it all.
Jerome Jacobson faces nine counts of conspiracy in a plot they say involved $20 million dollars' worth of McDonald's winning game prizes stolen and then sold to friends and relatives.
If he could cooperate, it would provide us just so much information to find all these other winners.
And winners turned into recruiters, and most importantly to show exactly how he did it.
We could not quite figure it out.
And now we knew he was doing it, we just didn't know the details in how he was doing it.
The government always wanted to know how he did it and he did not cooperate from the beginning.
He would have, but for the fact that his lawyers would not allow him to until we worked everything out.
It was the talk peace but prepare for war.
And We were preparing for a war.
I don't think there ever was an exit strategy to stopping.
He'd been perfecting it for 13 years, it's just gotten better and probably easier for him to do.
And the only reason he got caught was because he pissed somebody off and somebody went to the FBI and said, "Hey, guess what's happening.
" "Informant, key to unlocking scam behind the golden arches.
" Of course they never named who the informant was, but that's how it all came apart.
Do you have any idea who the informant might have been? Nope.
I think it's the FBI.
Before this ever went down, there was a box across the street from my house on a pole, placed there by Blue Ridge Electric.
I'd always questioned what it was.
I've developed a lot of property.
I'd never seen that box.
I suspected they were eavesdropping on to me, not because of McDonald's but because of a fellow developer here on the lakes.
The FBI came in.
the drug enforcement people came in, everybody came in, tied up all of his shit.
And I was on the peripheral that, within a week after my arrest and after this went down, Blue Ridge Electric trucks came into the field across my street and that box is gone.
So that's why I've always felt their story of how an informant, or how somebody came forward, I felt like it was bullshit.
- Do you know who the informant is? - I do.
- Are we - Next question.
Without the informant telling the FBI where to go, who to look at This case would have never been broken.
I will never tell you who the source was.
You will never get that from me.
If I was a dead body, you could not get that off my corpse.
That's how much I think about the Bureau's program.
It has to work like that, right? If you had to make a guess, who do you think the informant would be? I don't think it was anybody in mind.
If it is, I'd be very surprised, real surprised.
If you're gonna surprise me, go ahead and surprise me.
I know who broke the case, I had this moment right now I'm not sure if I feel comfortable saying who broke the case.
I need to talk to some people and make sure that I'm not in danger if I say who broke the case.
Because right now I don't know if it's gonna come back and bite me in the butt.
Who do you think it was? Frank Colombo.

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