Citing Continued Criminal Acts, Federal Prosecutors Seek 141-Month Sentence for John Rogers

by George Waldon  on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 6:35 am   3 min read

John Rogers, a booking photo from Dec. 3, 2015. (Pulaski County Detention Center)

John Rogers' continued frauds have prompted prosecutors to request a sentence that is more than twice as long as hoped for by him and his attorney.

Prosecutors are asking for 141 months in federal prison and $22 million in restitution, a dollar figure not previously specified. A bond revocation hearing for the North Little Rock dealer in sports memorabilia and photographs is now set for Nov. 20 in Chicago U.S. District Court.

"His continued fraudulent activities and denials of knowledge of the fraud demonstrates that he has not lived up to his end of the agreement," according to a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court in Chicago by Joel Levin, acting U.S. attorney.

Rogers, 44, was scheduled for sentencing in Chicago on Monday. However, that hearing was reset for Dec. 20 at the request of Blake Hendrix of Little Rock, Rogers' criminal defense lawyer.

Hendrix requested a 30-day continuance on Nov. 10 to address the new allegations leveled by the government.

A sampling of his client's alleged misdeeds during the past 12 months recounted by Levin include selling phony Mickey Mantle baseball cards and fake Scottie Pippen trophies and marketing a bogus Super Bowl I game ball.

According to Levin, Rogers deployed his typical array of fraud-tainted activity: forgeries, bogus email accounts, fabricated memorabilia, fake nameplates on trophies and lies to prospective buyers.

Rogers pleaded guilty to one count of felony wire fraud on March 6 in Chicago’s U.S. District Court. That count was tied to a counterfeit 1978 Heisman Trophy awarded to Billy Sims, produced by altering a ceremonial Heisman Trophy.

The federal government, describing new criminal activity, alleges that Rogers gave a false name to an unnamed Arkansas trophy shop to order nameplates that were later used to create counterfeit trophies.

The government also notes that, since the plea agreement, thousands of dollars flowed between third-party bank accounts that benefited Rogers and protected him from creditors trying to collect on judgments tallied in the millions of dollars.

According to Levin, some of that money was transferred earlier this year into an account controlled by Amy Allen, the wife of a former Rogers business associate, Doug Allen. After learning from Doug Allen that he was under investigation, Rogers agreed to cooperate with federal authorities and secretly recorded a conversation with Allen.

Doug Allen was sentenced in February 2016 to 57 months for his role in the frauds perpetrated by Mastro Auctions in suburban Chicago and, in part, for obstructing the criminal investigation of Rogers.

The sports memorabilia auctioneer received a stiffer sentence after Rogers baited him into discussing past misdeeds. Captured on a wire worn by Rogers, the conversation included Allen acknowledging that he had warned Rogers about an impending FBI raid. The raid occurred on Jan. 28, 2014.

Hendrix sought a 60-month sentence under the plea agreement and cited his client's cooperation with federal investigators.

Among the good deeds listed by Hendrix includes Rogers assisting in the case against Allen and the removal of an unnamed member of the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory from his position.

As potential mitigating factors for his client's criminal conduct, Hendrix mentioned possible chronic traumatic encephalopathy from his days as a college football lineman; an undated diagnosis of hypomania, the manic portion of bipolar disorder; and, by 2010, addictions to alcohol and cocaine.

At his plea hearing in March, Rogers said personal gain was the motivation for his criminal behavior.

According to the government's sentencing memorandum submitted by Levin: "This was persistent, intentional, sophisticated fraud. Rogers demonstrated utter disregard for his victims in telling them bald-faced lies. Some defendants have excuses for their criminal conduct that caused them to commit crimes. Not so with defendant Rogers. His goal was simple, fool the victims with false promises and use their money to finance a folly rooted in narcissism and greed."



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