From Subway to federal prison: Jared Fogle set to plead guilty for sexually exploiting children

Indiana State Police and FBI investigations reveal Former subway representative, Jared Fogle, actively participated in possessing and distributing child pornography along with traveling to different states and countries to engage in sexual acts with minors.

Photo by msd center (Flickr).

Most people know Jared Fogle as the “Subway guy” who lost over 200 pounds from eating two Subway sandwiches a day and exercising.  Fogle became the face of Subway and was their main advertising tool for more than fifteen years.  Fogle’s success with losing weight in college drove him to start a charity, The Jared Foundation.  The charity’s mission statement was “to work with children, their parents, and caregivers to educate them and to create programs to help avoid and deal with childhood obesity.”  The charity spent most of its time forming partnerships with schools and companies to help children across the nation form healthy eating and exercise habits.

However, in April 2015, The Jared Foundation’s executive director and close friend of Fogle, Russell Taylor, was arrested on federal child pornography-related charges.  Following Taylor’s arrest, a tip from a private citizen in Indiana alerted authorities of Fogle’s possible participation in the heinous crimes.  Fogle became the subject of an FBI investigation.  This investigation revealed that Fogle not only possessed child pornography given to him by Taylor, but he frequently traveled to have sex with minors across the country too.

Fogle used wealth, status, and secrecy to receive and repeatedly view child pornography produced by Taylor. 

Fogle’s child pornography habits began in March 2011 when he learned that Taylor was sexually exploiting a fourteen-year-old.  Fogle did nothing to stop the abuse nor did he try to report it to authorities.  Instead, Fogle used wealth, status, and secrecy to receive and repeatedly view child pornography produced by Taylor.  Twelve girls were victimized because of Taylor’s actions and Fogle’s participation.  Taylor sent multiple videos and details of his actions through text messages and thumb drives to Fogle.  Fogle shared the videos on the thumb drive to third parties too.

In addition to possessing child pornography, Fogle admitted in court proceedings that he traveled to other states to engage in sexual acts with minors.  This activity never involved Taylor and occurred before Fogle’s discovery of Taylor victimizing minors.  Fogle traveled to New York City multiple times and paid to have sex with teenage girls. These acts occurred at both the Plaza and the Ritz Carlton Hotels, two very well known hotels in New York.

Fogle reached out to one of his victims and tried to bribe her with money to find him an even younger girl for him to have sex with.  The minors were as young as fourteen years old according to court documents.

On August 19, 2015, Fogle admitted to participating in the five-year criminal scheme of having sex with minors and possessing child pornography.  Currently, Fogle is released on home detention with GPS monitoring.  Fogle accepted a plea deal where he will plead guilty in November 2015 to one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography and one count of traveling to engage in unlawful sex acts with minors.  Fogle will also have to pay $1.4 million in restitution, giving $100,000 to each of his fourteen victims.  Additionally, he will have to register as a sex offender and undergo treatment for sexual disorders.  If U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt accepts the plea deal, Fogle will face anywhere between five to twelve and a half years in federal prison.

It was not until Mills saw on the news that Taylor was charged with similar crimes that she decided to bring compromising text messages to the F.B.I. 

Recently, reports have revealed that executives for Subway have known since 2008 of Fogle’s interest in children.  Cindy Mills, a former Subway Franchisee in Pensacola, Florida, claims she reported Fogle to Subway executives after he openly told her about what he did with children.

As soon as Mills learned that Fogle was using his power and fame to sexually exploit children, she reported him to three different executives in Subway’s advertising unit called Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFTAT).  Mills met Fogle at a Subway event and had an affair with him.  During this time, Fogle confided in Mills that he has traveled to Thailand and across the United States to have sex with children between the ages of nine and sixteen years old.  Additionally, Fogle asked Mills to put together a meeting between Fogle and Mills’s cousin who was underage too.

After Subway did not do anything concerning her complaints, Mills was too scared to go to police because of Fogle’s money and power.  It was not until she saw on the news that Taylor was charged with similar crimes that she decided to bring compromising text messages to the F.B.I.  Mills could not stand seeing Fogle as the face of Subway after knowing what he does to children.

Subway has repeatedly explained to the public that they are doing their own private investigation and will “communicate further once the investigation is complete.”

Fogle’s groundbreaking plea deal will provide victims with monetary compensation that the majority of victims do not receive in criminal cases

According to the plea deal, Fogle is required to pay $100,000 to each of his fourteen victims, totaling $1.4 million.  The fourteen victims will be able to use these funds for counseling, housing, and education due to the life effects of these crimes.

“This 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,” says Tim Horty, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Indianapolis.  Fogle’s groundbreaking plea deal will provide victims with monetary compensation that the majority of victims do not receive in criminal cases.

It is uncommon to see restitution as large as the one here in criminal cases.  Fogle’s victims will most likely receive the full amount of restitution ordered, which is usually not heard of for victims of sex crimes. According to attorney and former U.S. federal judge Paul Cassell, many abusers “[l]ack the wealth to make the restitution payment, [and] victims are only eligible for it if they can enumerate specific loses—like property, income, or employment—as a result of the abuse.”  Usually, for a victim of sexual abuse to receive restitution, a claim in civil court would have to be filed.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice reported that a $3.4 million dollar restitution reward ordered by a Florida court was the largest amount in the nation for child porn restitution.  Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court later tossed the ruling out and the victim received less than half of the originally ordered amount.

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About Danielle Feller, Associate Editor (16 Articles)
Danielle Feller is a 2016 graduate and served as an Associate Editor for the Campbell Law Observer during the 2015-2016 academic year. She is originally from Mooresville, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013 with a degree in Political Science with a concentration in Law and Justice and a minor in Business Administration. Following her first year of law school, Danielle interned at the Mecklenburg County Public Defender's Office in the Felony Unit. Following her second year of law school, Danielle interned at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Danielle is also worked as Professor Bobbi Jo Boyd's research assistant during her third year of law school.
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