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Jerome ‘Jerry’ Jacobson: Who is former cop at center of McMillions?

Jerome 'Jerry' Jacobson: Who is former cop at center of McMillions?
Jerome Jacobson was the ringleader of the McMillions scam. Pic credit: HBO

McMillions just hit HBO and the documentary told the story of the McDonald’s Monopoly scam that netted one man millions of dollars in prizes.

While the incident itself was almost forgotten, since the guilty plea of Jerome “Jerry” Jacobson took place on Sept. 10, 2001, one day before 9/11, the new HBO documentary has people curious.

Here is a look at Jerry Jacobson and how the former cop became the ringleader of one of the country’s biggest cases of fraud.

Who is Jerome “Jerry” Jacobson

The Daily Beast broke the story about Jerome “Jerry” Jacobson, a former police officer in Florida who was forced to retire due to a chronic nervous system.

During a medical leave in 1980, Jacobson collapsed with severe paralysis in his arms, legs, eyes and respiratory system. Jacobson was unfit to return to work, so the city fired him.

The good news for Jacobson was that he found a job in the private security sector. The bad news is that the new job gave him the idea to defraud McDonald’s and net missions of dollars illegally.

Jacobson was in charge of watching over the tickets as they were printed and sent out for McDonald’s to put onto their food packaging. However, he came up with a brilliant idea.

He took out the most valuable ones and gave them to his associates. This included his stepbrother, who won $25,000. It also included  “mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, convicts, drug traffickers, and even a family of Mormons.”

They claimed over $24 million in prizes from 1989 to 2001.

The McMillions Case

The HBO documentary McMillions told the story of the fraud and the way the FBI finally busted the ring.

Someone betrayed Jerry Jacobson.

In 2001, the FBI received an anonymous tip about the scam and they set up the sting that finally brought Jacobson and his associates down.

When Jacobson plead guilty to the charges of mail fraud, he went to prison on a three-year sentence. The courts also ordered him to pay $12.5 million in restitution.

All Jerry Jacobson said was that it was the “biggest mistake of my life.”

50 people ended up convicted in the case. The “super-recruiters” received a one-year and one-day prison sentence. Jacobson ended up released from prison in 2005.

The Daily Beast also reported that Jerome “Jerry” Jacobson is now in his late 70s and lives in Georgia. He is reported to be in “declining health.”

The HBO documentary of the McMillions scam is currently streaming on HBO.


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