They hired a Texas company that trusted Southfield businesswoman Nikki Curry with $8 million to buy billboard ads in Metro Detroit. The ads push the latest McDonald's slogans and direct drivers to the nearest locations.
However, according to federal documents obtained by the Local 4 Defenders, Curry allegedly pocketed more than $660,000 of the budget hoping no one would notice.
"Do people get too greedy? I mean, if you cut it off at $330,000 instead of $660,00, might you have ever been caught? No one knows, but as long as you keep dipping into the wallet eventually they're going to grab you," said Local 4 legal expert Keith Corbett.
It worked for a while. With almost 2,000,000 employees and thousands of private contractors, it took some time for McDonald's to realize Curry created two bogus companies to make it look like she was buying billboard ads that were never put up.
"She saw a way -- the allegations say -- to make some money, took advantage of lack of supervision," said Corbett.
McDonald's may be a giant corporation doing $27 billion a year in revenue but the missing $660,000 could pay for a lot of hamburger patties.
So, prosecutors are making a federal case out of Nikki Curry's alleged bogus business practices.
Statement from Moroch Advertising:
Moroch has proudly represented the South East Michigan McDonald’s Owner-Operators for over 12 years, and we’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship with them during that time. Moroch is saddened by the recent events involving former employee, Nikki Curry. Upon discovery of misinformation involving client budgets overseen by Ms. Curry, we began cooperating with local and federal authorities.
We want to clarify any confusion about the charges filed against Ms. Curry. There is a misconception that this is a fraud situation that affected the McDonald’s budgets. That is simply not true. While Ms. Curry did work on McDonald’s business as a media planner, these fraudulent charges were never billed to our clients and were paid for, in full, by Moroch. We are working closely with authorities to move past these events as quickly as possible.
Because this case is currently under investigation, we are unable to comment any further at this time.