The Million Dollar Scandal
It was a heist like no other.
An accountant who found a way to make millions for himself by swindling a well-known fast-food restaurant in the most unusual way.
It was a simple game of Monopoly that turned into a multimillion-dollar scandal, and it wasn’t long before everything he had built up would come crumbling down in spectacular fashion.
The McDonald’s Monopoly Game
When popular fast food restaurant, McDonald’s, started promoting a new game, everyone flocked to try and get their hands on the prizes up for grabs.
It was simple, buy any of the qualifying meal items to obtain the Monopoly game pieces.
Although they were basically just stickers that you would peel off, people couldn’t get enough of the game.
Coming Back For More
This was exactly the kind of marketing and promotion campaign that Mcdonald’s was hoping for.
The more stickers you can get your hands on, the more chances you have of winning a great prize.
It was a win-win for everyone involved. People became obsessed with collecting stickers to see if they had a chance at winning.
Of course, prizes vary from country to country, but in the USA, you can look forward to getting your share of a whole range of giveaways.
The easiest prizes to win came in the form of free meals. You could redeem the stickers for anything from Big Tasty with Bacon sandwiches, Chicken Legend, fries, and drinks.
But it was the other bigger prizes that made people want to get more stickers.
The promotion was not without its critics, though. While the game made many people excited to keep buying meals in order to find the lucky stickers, Mcdonald’s was later chastised for urging consumers to buy more.
It was said that it promoted bad eating habits and was a danger to public health.
But this did not deter people, and they continued to flock to Mcdonald’s for their chance to win.
You could also get your hands on the rare stickers, which included the sort of after-prizes that everybody wanted.
The prizes included two tickets to the Superbowl, plane tickets, and vacations to beaches and resorts.
But the most wanted prizes of all were the cash prizes, and this was where one man would go above and beyond to get his share.
Marcus Nemec had big dreams for himself. He always dreamed of hitting the big time, and it didn’t matter to him how he would go about getting there.
Marc, as he was known to his friends, always walked the straight and narrow. He had to. He needed to be a good role model to his kids.
But one day, he decided to walk a different path, and it was lined with gold.
The Job Application
Marc was down on his luck and looking for a job. He began scouting around and eventually came across a job application ad in his local newspaper.
It was for an accounting job at his local McDonald’s. Marc applied immediately. The hours were suitable for him and his family.
It was the usual 9 to 5, and it was just what he was looking for.
To New Beginnings
He waited a few days, and just when he thought they wouldn’t get back to him, he received the much-anticipated reply.
He got the job and was scheduled to start the following Monday. Marc couldn’t wait.
The job was ideal, it paid more, and he was just looking forward to getting home at a decent hour.
A Great First Day
The first day was smooth sailing for Marc. He met everyone, and they all seemed nice enough. He couldn’t ask for a better place to work at.
He even got an occasional free lunch.
As he sat having his lunch at one of the tables, he saw the staff putting up promotional posters about a new Monopoly game they were launching.
His Interest Was Piqued
It looked simple enough, the more meals you bought, the greater your chance of winning some cool prizes.
Marc saw that there were many great prizes up for grabs, and he told himself that he too would give it a shot. He wouldn’t mind a vacation with his wife.
Or a cash prize. He would think of so many things he could do with a cash prize.
Let The Games Begin
As soon as the competition started, the McDonald’s branch he worked at was full every day. People came morning, noon, and night to get their hands on the promotional goods.
Since everyone else was getting in on the fun, Marc decided to try his hand at the game as well.
This was where Marc’s ultimate downfall would begin.
Marc played every day at lunchtime. He was obsessed with finding the best prizes, even though it was just a free hamburger and chips.
He traded stickers and game pieces with the other workers, and they often playfully accused Marc of not “playing fair.” But Marc couldn’t care less.
His ultimate goal was to get one of the cash prizes, and he knew just how to do it.
The First Piece
As soon as he saw how simple everything was, he concocted a plan. He knew this was something he could pull off without telling many people.
It all began when Marc decided to steal his first piece.
He wanted to “see if he could do it.” Soon enough, he would be passing around these pieces to a select few people who were in on his elaborate scheme.
Can’t Be Stopped
Marc’s habit became uncontrollable, and he was soon stealing more than he could manage, eventually reeling in more people to help him pull off the heist.
His operation had gotten far too big for him to handle on his own. And he needed some extra hands to help him pull the job off without drawing too much attention to himself.
But the situation would soon turn against him.
More Than Family
Soon he was stealing and handing out winning pieces to numerous family members. But it wasn’t only him and his family that were benefitting from the winnings.
With Marc’s operation getting bigger by the day, he needed more hands on deck.
So he roped in a few unsavory characters to help him accomplish his goals.
The Bigger the Prize
The prizes kept getting bigger and better, and Marc was getting more daring with his plan. He was determined to get one of the biggest cash prizes for himself.
With things finally going his way, Marc became bolder.
His greed was getting the better of him, and that would be what ultimately led to his downfall.
Eye On The Prize
Marc had his eye on the million-dollar prize, and he knew just how to make it happen.
He was ready to take the risk and do whatever it took to get his hands on the winning piece.
But at this point, Marc stopped taking the consequences of his actions into consideration. And that was his biggest mistake yet.
Marc came up with an elaborate plan to steal the winning pieces. He would sneak into the McDonald’s offices after hours and remove the winning game pieces from the safe.
Then he would have people cash in the prizes while secretly getting his share.
But to do that, he needed more help than he already had.
Knowing that it could backfire, Marc recruited a few accomplices who helped him execute the plan. They would meet after work and discuss their next move.
Marc was convinced that his plan would work and that he would finally be able to get rich. And to a point, he was right.
But was the risk worth the reward?
The First Win
In the beginning, Marc’s plan worked out perfectly. He was able to get his hands on a winning game piece for the first time.
Marc was ecstatic. But he knew that he couldn’t claim the prize himself, as it would raise suspicion.
That was when he implemented the next part of his scheme – the aid of the rest of his accomplices.
For his first attempt, Marc decided to sell the winning piece to a close friend. And the deal was that they would split the prize money. It worked like a charm.
After his first successful transaction, Marc was hooked, and he wanted more.
He was willing to take even bigger risks so he could get his hands on bigger prizes.
The Scheme Unfolds
His scheme was becoming more elaborate. And he needed more people he could trust to cash in on the prizes.
So Marc ended up roping in his brother-in-law, a friend from high school, and even his own wife to help him execute his plan.
And each of them was offered the same deal – the winning ticket for a share of the prize.
Watching It Play Out
Since the company would get suspicious if one of its employees kept winning the massive prizes, Marc had to make sure that he stayed under the radar.
Thus, he never claimed a prize himself.
He would just steal the winning pieces and hand them out to his accomplices, who would then claim the prizes on his behalf.
The Big Scam
Marc and his accomplices were on a mission to make as much money as they could from the Monopoly game Mcdonald’s was offering. And up until that point, they had succeeded.
They even went as far as to create fake names, fake addresses and even set up fake email accounts to make it look like they were different people.
It was turning into a major operation.
A Long Run
Using their fake identities, Marc’s family members and friends would then claim the prizes and split the winnings among themselves.
Their operation was so well planned that it lasted for years. And in that time, they collected thousands of dollars in prize money.
At a stage, it was like a well-planned, money-earning business, even though none of what they were doing was moral or legal.
Marc had mobsters, nightclub owners, psychics, convicts, and all other people you might associate with the underworld busy with dealings in secret.
They were a well-oiled money-making machine. And because of that, Marc never considered that things would take a turn for the worse.
There was no way a finger could be pointed at him. At least, that was what he thought.
When Marc made his first million dollars, he couldn’t believe his luck. He vowed to continue because he wasn’t hurting anyone, and everything was still going according to plan.
At least, that’s what he thought.
But what Marc didn’t know was that his dealings had come to the attention of someone he couldn’t go up against.
The Scheme Unfolds
As Marc’s scheme continued to grow, he started selling the winning game pieces to various people for a portion of the prize money.
It wasn’t long before he was making thousands of dollars every week.
But with so many people caught up in his scheme, something was bound to go wrong at some point. And Marc was reaching that point.
Time Is Ticking
Marc had gotten so good at stealing the pieces that he had soon amassed millions of dollars in cash and prizes from McDonald’s.
But he was a smart man. And he knew that he couldn’t do it forever.
Tricks like these had expiry dates, and he knew it was only a matter of time before he got caught.
The Investigation Begins
What Marc didn’t know was that the FBI had been informed of his scheme and that they had launched an investigation into the matter.
It all started one morning when an anonymous tipster called McDonald’s and reported suspicious activity surrounding the Monopoly game.
That tipster was in on the trick, and they clearly wanted to see Marc and his team fail.
The company didn’t believe the tipster at first. But when the tipster alluded to an “inside job,” their tune changed.
The company hired an investigator to look into the matter and found out that something was going on.
Marc became nervous when he saw a man coming in every day and sitting at the same table. He knew he was being watched.
Feeling The Heat
Marc realized that his gig was up.
He quickly informed all his partners that he would be lying low for a few weeks until he could figure out whether or not this guy was a cop.
He had a strange sense that trouble was on the horizon, and being as smart as he was, he didn’t want to take any chances.
One day, Marc took his lunch and had it in the store. He watched the suspicious man intently, hoping he would give his secret away in one way or another.
But the man did no such thing.
He seemed to just be enjoying a meal every day and playing the occasional game, but Marc was still suspicious.
The Plan Goes Wrong
Marc and his accomplices stopped what they were doing for quite some time. And it seemed like everything was going smoothly. That was until one of Marc’s accomplices was caught by the FBI.
It turns out that the entire McDonald’s Monopoly game was rigged from the start. And because of that, the attention was turned on his accomplice.
He was one of the people who cashed in a few big prizes.
A Different Case
One of the biggest problems Marc and his team faced was that some of the winning game pieces were being stolen from the printing plant.
Those pieces were then sold to a group of criminals, who claimed the prizes.
It wasn’t exactly their fault, but some of those criminals just happened to be a part of Marc’s team. And it was one of them who got arrested.
As news of the scandal broke out, Marc and his crew scrambled to cover their tracks.
They burned all evidence and laid low, hoping that the authorities wouldn’t connect them to the scheme.
But they acted far too late to save themselves from the mess they had been dragged into. The problem was already on their doorstep.
Time Is Up
The FBI was hot on their heels, and it wasn’t long before they were able to piece together the entire operation.
Unfortunately for Marc, the man they arrested agreed to a plea deal, and he started sharing everything he knew about Marc’s operation.
Because of that, the FBI had everything they needed to start making arrests.
Before Marc could even process what was happening, the FBI was knocking on his door. The agents arrested Marc and his entire team.
They were charged with a litany of federal crimes, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering.
And those were crimes that came with rather lengthy prison terms for those involved.
Not Careful Enough
Despite his best efforts to outsmart the system, Marc found himself facing a lengthy prison sentence. All his careful planning and meticulous attention to detail had been for nothing.
And it all happened because he couldn’t control every single detail of his plan.
With an operation that size, things were bound to come out at some point.
The FBI Investigation
After the arrests, the FBI launched a full-scale investigation into the scam, and Marc’s name came up multiple times during that investigation.
It became clear that he was the mastermind behind the entire scheme, and because of that, he received the harshest sentence.
It was a situation that the once honest man never thought he would be in.
A Grueling Time
Marc was interrogated by the FBI, and eventually, he confessed to his role in the scheme. He was offered a deal to cooperate with the FBI in exchange for a lighter sentence.
But during his interrogation, even more things came to light that Marc had no idea about.
One of the things was the man he had been suspicious of the entire time.
With the rate at which things were heating up, the restaurant where Marc worked ended up being raided.
And what the FBI found while there put the last pieces of the puzzle in place.
During the interrogation, Marc never confessed that he was the mastermind behind the scheme, but the new evidence the FBI found proved that he was.
How Did It Work?
It was brought to light by the undercover agent and the McDonald’s branch manager that Marc was hiding all the pieces he had stolen from the restaurant in a vent in the men’s bathroom.
That was where his accomplices found them.
At that point, there was no doubt about the huge role Marc played in the heist.
The story of the McDonald’s Monopoly game scam became national news, and Marc’s name was plastered all over the media. He lost his job, and his reputation was ruined. He was left with nothing but regret.
Marc spent his time in prison reflecting on his actions and trying to make amends. He became a model prisoner and earned an early release for good behavior.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.