McDonald's in Scandal Countersuit
Oct. 31, 2001
WAKEFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ McDonald's Corp. and a marketing firm embroiled in a game fraud scandal with the fast-food giant have swapped lawsuits in the aftermath of the alleged scam.
Simon Marketing Inc., a subsidiary of Wakefield-based Simon Worldwide Inc., filed suit on Oct. 23 against McDonald's in California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.
That lawsuit seeks to recover damages resulting from McDonald's decision to sever its relationship with Simon Marketing.
Simon Marketing, which represented McDonald's for more than two decades, claimed it lost several clients, including the fast-food giant and Philip Morris Cos., after the fraud was disclosed in August.
On the same day that Simon Marketing filed suit, McDonald's sued Simon Worldwide, Simon Marketing, and Jerome Jacobson, the man allegedly at the center of the game scandal, as well as other defendants.
McDonald's complaint claims that Simon Marketing engaged in fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary obligations and civil conspiracy.
Simon Worldwide spokesman Chris Lehane declined to discuss the lawsuit against McDonald's. McDonald's spokesman Walt Riker declined to discuss his company's lawsuit.
McDonald's severed its relationship with Simon Marketing after eight people were arrested for the alleged criminal ring that fixed winners of the popular Monopoly and ``Who Wants to be a Millionaire'' games.
Jacobson, 58, a security employee of Simon Marketing, allegedly embezzled winning game pieces and distributed them to friends and business associates, who found others to take the winning pieces and claim the prizes. In all, the ring ``won'' more than $13 million in prizes.