'McMillions' on HBO: What Happened to Michael Hoover After the McDonald's Fraud Case?

New HBO documentary McMillions aims to lift the lid of the fraud case of the early 2000s that saw a criminal ring try to benefit using stolen McDonald's Monopoly tokens. In the first episode, broadcast on Monday, February 3, viewers met Michael Hoover, whose $1 million win in the fast food promotion raised FBI suspicion, leading to an undercover operation that saw agents pretending to be filming a commercial with the winners of the competition.

In the McMillions documentary, viewers saw Hoover telling the agents that he had found the $1 million token in an issue of People after the magazine he had been reading on the beach had become damaged. This suspicious story led the agents to investigate further, which led to them discovering over 50 people involved in the mail fraud ring.

However, the trial for the McDonald's fraud case began on September 10, 2001—that is, the day before the 9/11 terror attack, so was not widely covered in the media. As such, not much information exists revealing exactly what happened to Hoover after he recorded that fake commercial.

A number of contemporaneous articles do shed some light on what happened. On August 22, 2001, Hoover was one of eight people arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, a charge that is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

michael hoover mcmillions
Michael Hoover in "McMillions" HBO

In a statement released at the time, Attorney General John Ashcroft explained the scheme headed by security official Jerome Jacobson which involved Hoover as one of its "winners."

He said: "The complaint alleges that Jacobson provided the winning game pieces to his friends and associates who acted as 'recruiters.' These 'recruiters' then solicited others who falsely and fraudulently represented that they were the legitimate winners of the McDonald's game.

"After these so called, 'winners' received their prize checks, they shared a portion of the proceeds with their 'recruiters,' who in turn, provided a portion of the proceeds to Jacobson. More than $13 million worth of grand prizes have been corruptly 'won' by the co-conspirators in the scheme."

Hoover was then named in an indictment for conspiracy to commit mail fraud on September 11 itself (per Washington Times), but it was not reported on whether he was convicted and sentenced or not.

The Daily Beast notes in their article that, "More than 50 defendants were convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy" and that "dozens of other 'winners' received only probation and are still paying back their prize money at $50 a month." However, Hoover is not mentioned by name in this paragraph, despite being named 11 times elsewhere in the article, suggesting he was not among those convicted."

Notably, in the Washington Times article about the indictment, Hoover's name is featured in the same paragraph as that of Stanley Warwick, whose role in the case might illuminate that of Hoover. In 2005, his widow sued McDonald's for failing to pay her husband's winnings in full, despite his case never going to trial before his death in 2003.

A 2004 L.A. Times article may help explain why some of the cases never went to trial. The piece reports that in July of that year, four convictions in the case were overturned, with a three-judge panel of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals finding "a complete failure of proof" on the charges.

Some charges, however, stood. Hoover's recruiter into the scheme Andrew Glomb, for example, served one year and a day according to Daily Beast, while Jacobson served three years and is now living in Georgia. Hoover, meanwhile, is now 75 years old and is believed to be living in Las Vegas, Nevada.

McMillions airs Mondays on HBO.