McDonald's Response

The following is a statement from McDonald's in response to a "Primetime" story:

I am responding to your inquiry about the hoax that occurred last year at one of our restaurants in Mount Washington, Kentucky. As you know, this is an open investigation and pending legal matter. Consequently, it would be inappropriate to discuss the specific details of either the incident or the lawsuit.

This malicious hoax was perpetrated by individuals who do not represent our brand. It is deplorable that Louise Ogborn, like many other people at a variety of local and national retailers, has been victimized by such a scam. What happened to Ms. Ogborn was wrong. We are cooperating with the authorities and fully support their efforts to prosecute those individuals responsible to the full extent of the law. Immediately following this incident, we took disciplinary action against employees believed to be involved.

We take this matter very seriously and through our training try very hard to warn our employees about such schemes. On several occasions, prior to the 2004 incident, we provided guidance to our restaurant managers and field staff regarding such hoax phone calls. We send periodic updates to employees and include specific guidance in our restaurant Operations & Training Manual, which is available in every U.S. McDonald's restaurant, as follows:

"Under no circumstances should any member of McDonald's management or staff conduct a search of any employee or customer's person. No legitimate law enforcement agency would ever ask you to conduct such a search. If someone claiming to be a law enforcement official requests that a manager or employee conduct a strip search, or any search of another employee or customer, try to obtain the name and phone number of the caller and immediately call your local police department to report the incident. Contact your owner/operator or security manager about the incident as soon as possible. If you believe you have reason to search an employee's personal possessions (for example, a backpack, purse, etc.), contact your owner/operator or security manager for guidance beforehand. You should never detain any employee or other individual from leaving the premises against his or her will."

Ultimately, the actions taken by our restaurant staff put a stop to this hoax and helped police locate the individual believed to be responsible for the majority of these calls.

We recognize that our greatest asset is our employees. We greatly value their contributions to our brand and we remain committed to taking the necessary steps to provide them with a safe workplace.

McDonald's USA