The federal court in Jacksonville, Florida, heard four people plead guilty on Friday to conspiracy charges filed in relation to the US$20m embezzlement scam that tainted fastfood giant McDonald’s promotional games.

Each of the defendants, 43-year-old Gloria Brown, 52-year-old Victor Marchitello, 48-year-old Linda Baker and 49-year-old Noah Dwight Baker Sr., faces sentences of up to five years in prison and potential fines respectively of US$300,000, US$639,000 and almost US$1.5m for the Bakers.

Jerome Jacobson, a security director at McDonalds hired to run the Monopoly games and the alleged mastermind behind the games scan, has pleaded innocent. The prosecution alleges that since the late 1980s Jacobson has embezzled winning game pieces worth more than US$20m.

A total of 21 people have so far been indicted in the theft and distribution of high-value cards from the games.

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