Judge Appoints Receiver For 4 John Rogers Businesses

Judge Appoints Receiver For 4 John Rogers Businesses
John Rogers (Mark Friedman)

Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza on Monday appointed Michael McAfee as receiver of four businesses once controlled by North Little Rock sports memorabilia and photo dealer John Rogers.

As receiver, McAfee will oversee the assets of Sports Card Plus Inc., Planet Giant LLC, Digital Stock Planet LLC and Photo Archive Partners LLC. 

During the brief hearing, First Arkansas Bank & Trust of Jacksonville reiterated its contention that the Rogers ventures are insolvent.

"The businesses have never cash flowed," said Roger Rowe, partner in the Little Rock law firm of Lax Vaughan Fortson Jones & Rowe, which represents the bank. "The companies are out of money."

On Dec. 19, First Arkansas obtained a default judgment against Rogers of more than $14.5 million tied to four loans.

McAfee is to report on a monthly basis all bonafide written offers of $20,000 or more received for any assets.

Among other considerations spelled out in the judge’s order, McAfee is charged with preserving several collections that are the focus of conflicting claims by various creditors. 

These collections include: 

The George Burke & George Brace Collection, the subject of a July lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court by Mary Brace of Chicago. The complaint alleges that Rogers owes $765,000 on the purchase contract of the epic collection of an estimated 250,000 original negatives of baseball players.

The Hoffman Collection, the subject of a November lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court filed by David Hoffman of Santa Cruz. Hoffman is seeking $80,000 owed on the $325,000 sale of his namesake video and photograph archive in May 2012. 

The Arthur Rickerby Collection, photos and negatives of President John F. Kennedy taken by Arthur Rickerby claimed as collateral securing the unpaid balance of the Hoffman contract.

The Conlon Collection, consisting of an estimated 8,400 glass plate negatives. Charles Conlon (1868–1945) is considered one of the greatest baseball photographers.

Among a string of parties who have claimed an interest in the Conlon collection is Mark Roberts of California, a former baseball memorabilia investor with Rogers.

In a February lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court, Roberts accuses Rogers of fraud in connection with the purchase of historic baseball photographs totaling nearly $2.6 million. His complaint alleges that Rogers sold him scores of counterfeit items.

Rogers countersued Roberts in Pulaski County Circuit Court last month claiming he was defrauded into entering a settlement agreement over the dispute.

The Fairfax Archive, a collection of photos from the Sydney Morning Herald, The Melbourne Age and New Zealand publications. Fairfax Media Management PTY Ltd. sued Rogers and others to recover its archive alleging breach of contract.

On Monday, McAfee was ordered to return all materials associated with The Age to Fairfax and to gather all other Fairfax archive material to the Sports Cards Plus facility in North Little Rock and hold these assets separately.

Fairfax claimed that Rogers was selling archive assets before making digital copies available to Fairfax per the $244,000 purchase contract.

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