Text messages between Subway spokesman Jared Fogle and a 16 year old franchisee employee Fogle allegedly paid to have sex with have been subpoenaed by the FBI.
From Business Insider:
The former franchisee shared the texts and her concerns about Fogle with Subway management at the time, her lawyer says, but Subway did nothing. Subway says it has no record of the woman’s complaint.
The woman’s lawyer, who asked to remain anonymous, said the FBI recently subpoenaed his law office for the text-message conversations, which Business Insider has viewed.
In the messages, Fogle repeatedly asks the woman — a Subway franchisee at the time — to advertise herself on Craigslist for sex with other men.
He asks her if he can watch the sexual acts and tells her she can make about $500 per act.
The messages in the affidavit, which the attorney says were recorded from the woman’s phone by a court reporter in 2008 and witnessed and verified by a notary-public official, span from January 2008 to June 2008. Business Insider independently verified the authenticity of the affidavit. We also verified that a phone number in the document was registered to a Jared Fogle.
The woman was apparently in a sexual relationship with Fogle at the time. She became uncomfortable with the relationship as Fogle pushed her to post listings on Craigslist and detailed other trysts, according to her lawyer.
Wendy Osborne, spokeswoman for FBI’s Southern Indiana branch, would not confirm or deny that the FBI has subpoenaed the messages.
Subway suspended its relationship with Fogle, a spokesman for the brand for the last 15 years, on July 7 after federal and state authorities raided his Indiana home. It has scrubbed every mention of Fogle from its website and stores.
The raid came months after an employee of Fogle’s charitable foundation was arrested on child-pornography charges, and Subway said at the time it believed the raid on Fogle’s home was in relation to that case.
Fox59 and CBS also reported at the time — citing law-enforcement sources — that the raid was related to a child-pornography investigation.
Several weeks later, Fogle still hasn’t been charged. In fact, the US attorney’s office — which is now handling the case — won’t even say if an investigation is or isn’t underway.
According to the affidavit obtained by Business Insider, Fogle asked the former Subway franchisee in May 2008 to set up a meeting for him with her cousin. The cousin was underage at the time, according to the woman’s lawyer.
“When can we find a time for me to talk to your cousin?” Fogle asks in a message dated May 1, 2008.
“Any more news with your cousin?” he asks the following day. “Tell me what u think about when u think of the three of us all together???”
Earlier, in April, according to the affidavit, Fogle asked the woman, “How young would you like?… Would you want to have an adventure like that?”
On June 19, the lawyer says that Fogle again asked the woman to advertise herself on Craigslist. She responds: “Is this the same website you found that 16 year old girl you that you f*****? …I still can’t believe you only paid $100 for her.”
Fogle responds: “It was amazing!!!!”
She asks: “What part of her ad made you think she was selling sex?”
He says: “U will have to read them to see.”
The age of consent in Indiana, where Fogle resides, is 16 years old.
Fogle’s attorney, Ron Elberger, who has been quick to respond to questions in the past, has not responded to calls and emails from Business Insider about the text messages.
The woman, who initially met Fogle at a Subway function, grew uncomfortable with the conversations over time and hired a lawyer — the same lawyer that Business Insider has interviewed — to determine whether the communication violated her franchiser-franchisee contract with Subway.
That’s when the messages were extracted from her phone.
The woman reported the communications to Subway, her lawyer says. Subway determined that no violations occurred, however, due to the fact that Fogle was not an employee of Subway — even though he was hired to do marketing for the brand.
The woman also contacted Subway’s corporate office regarding the issue, and she requested that Subway allow her to remove all marketing related to Fogle from her store, according to the lawyer.
She met with two levels of management, shared the messages with them, “and specifically requested not to have his imagery and merchandising related to him in her stores,” the lawyer said. “She also specifically warned them that he should not be interacting with young people.”
Subway continued to use Fogle in national advertising campaigns until the FBI raid on his home earlier this month.
When reached for comment, Subway said, “We have no record of this allegation.”
A former journalist separately came forward earlier this month claiming that Fogle made inappropriate remarks to her about middle-school girls.
Florida ABC affiliate WWSB reported: “According to the woman, Jared would often visit schools in Sarasota County, and allegedly told her numerous times that, ‘Middle school girls are hot.'”
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed Fogle also made other remarks that made her uncomfortable, but she didn’t go into detail on those conversations.
“They weren’t jokes. They were very serious,” she told WWSB.
The woman said she contacted the FBI about the comments and was later asked to wear a wire and record conversations with Fogle, according to the report.
Responding to the claims, Fogle’s attorney, Ron Elberger, previously said “the story is a fabrication that lacks credibility.”
Fogle first rose to fame as Subway’s spokesman 15 years ago, after losing more than 200 pounds by eating their sandwiches. He has a net worth of $15 million, according to the New York Daily News.
Subway’s decision to suspend its relationship with Fogle marks an end to the chain’s most lucrative endorsement deal.
The company’s chief marketing officer told the Daily News that Fogle is likely responsible for one-third to one-half of Subway’s growth in the past 15 years.
In addition to his work for Subway, Fogle also started the Jared Foundation, a charitable group aiming to help children develop better eating and exercise habits.
Russell Taylor, the former executive director of Fogle Foundation, was arrested two months ago in Indianapolis on federal child-pornography charges following an April 29 FBI raid of his home.
More than 400 videos of child pornography were found in his possession, according to court documents reviewed by Business Insider.
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