Subway Pitchman To Plead Guilty, Foundation Goes Quiet

August 19, 2015       NPT Staff      

Iconic sandwich pitchman Jared Fogle is expected to plead guilty to charges related to possession of child pornography as well as traveling across state lines to pay for sex, in an investigation that started with the executive director of his eponymous foundation.

He will pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 victims and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, and supervised release after serving his prison sentence for at least 5 years and up to the remainder of his life, under a plea agreement with the U.S District Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

Fogle, who gained prominence after appearing in Subway ads 15 years ago claiming to have lost hundreds of pounds on a steady diet of Subway sandwiches, will to plead guilty to possession of child pornography charges related to a child pornography case involving Russell C. Taylor, formerly the executive director of The Jared Foundation.

Subway tweeted Tuesday night: “We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment.” The sandwich chain suspended its relationship with Fogle in July after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided his home.

Authorities raided Fogle’s Indianapolis-area home two months after the 43-year-old Taylor was arrested on federal child pornography charges. Taylor was charged in May with seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Authorities found sexually explicit photos and videos during a search of Taylor’s home in April, including one Taylor allegedly produced, according to reports. At the time of his arrest, Fogle said in a statement that he was shocked by the allegations and the foundation would end its relationship with Taylor.

The foundation’s mission is to “work with children, parents and caregivers to educate them to create programs to help avoid and deal with childhood obesity,” according to its most recent IRS Form 990 EZ for the year ending 2013. Taylor earned $44,110 as executive director, according to the tax form. The foundation reported total revenues and contributions of $127,276 and program expenses of $100,223, with net assets of $141,490. The foundation listed five board members, including Fogle and Taylor.

A telephone number for The Jared Foundation has been disconnected and its website shutdown since the probe began, according to reports.

Fogle, 37, of Zionsville, Ind., will plead guilty to charges of distributing and receiving child pornography, and conspiring to do so, as well as repeatedly traveling to engage in commercial sex acts with underage minors. He was released Wednesday on home detention with GPS monitoring and other conditions after his initial appearance before a magistrate judge.

Fogle will have to pay $100,000 in restitution to each of the 14 victims in the case, eight of whom are still minors, and forfeit assets of $50,000. The victims will be able to use these funds to pay for counseling and treatment. The $1.4 million in restitution is the largest amount of restitution ever ordered for a child pornography or sex trafficking case in the history of the Southern District of Indiana.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Fogle faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, and supervised release after serving his prison sentence for at least 5 years and up to the remainder of his life, according to Senior Litigation Counsel Steven D. DeBrota, who is prosecuting the case for the government. There is no agreed sentence in the case and the government may request of up to 12 ½ years of imprisonment. However, Fogle may not request a sentence below 5 years of imprisonment.

Fogle admitted in court pleadings that he received child pornography involving multiple minors living in Indiana and other countries over the course of several years and traveled to other states to engage in sex acts with minors.

In March 2011, Fogle learned that Taylor was sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. “At that time, Fogle did nothing to stop the abuse or report it to authorities but chose instead to receive and repeatedly view the child pornography involving the girl and those other minors produced by his alleged co-conspirator in the years that followed,” he said. Fogle admitted in court pleadings that his actions caused the sexual victimization of a total of 12 minors in Indiana before his Taylor’s arrest in April.

Fogle also has admitted in court papers that he repeatedly traveled to other states to engage in commercial sex acts with victims he knew were underage minors, which began years before his child pornography activities and did not involve Taylor, according to Minkler.

Between March 2011 and January 2015, Taylor – who was federally charged in a separate case in May – allegedly produced child pornography involving 12 minor victims in Indiana. Taylor secretly produced the images and videos of these minors, who were between 9 and 16 years old. Victims were filmed in Taylor’s house using multiple hidden cameras concealed in clock radios and positioned so they would capture the victims changing clothes, showering, bathing or engaging in other activities. Taylor allegedly then shared some of these images and videos with Fogle, who knew the victims were minors.

From 2007 until June 2015, Fogle repeatedly engaged in Internet social networking and traveled to other states for the purpose of engaging in commercial sexual acts with at least two underage minors.  He did this using an email account, social networking websites containing advertisements for escorts or erotic services, online messaging, and text messages.

In November 2012, Fogle traveled to New York City and engaged in commercial sexual acts with a 17-year old-female at the Plaza Hotel, where he was staying. The following day, Fogle sent text messages to the victim offering to pay her a fee if she could find another underage girl to have sex with him. During the text discussions, Fogle stated he would accept a 16-year-old girl, while indicating the younger the better.

In January 2013, Fogle paid for sex with the same victim at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York City where he was staying.  The victim provided Fogle with her true age when they first met and he knew that she was not yet 18 years old, according to authorities. Court filings also stated that Fogle engaged in commercial sex acts with a second underage minor in New York City. At other times, Fogle offered to pay adult prostitutes a finder’s fee if they could provide him underage minors for commercial sex acts with him, including minors as young as 14 and 15 years old.

The entire investigation started with one lone tip to a state police officer, according to Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter.