A former partner on Thursday sued embattled newspaper and sports memorabilia dealer John Rogers for $12.3 million.
William "Mac" Hogan alleges that Rogers committed multiple acts of fraud as part of a Ponzi-style scheme that often involved phantom transactions.
Hogan claims he discovered the string of tainted deals when he delved into operations of Sports Card Plus Inc. after FBI agents raided the North Little Rock office and home of Rogers on Jan. 28, 2013.
Among the suspect deals detailed by Hogan is the phantom purchase of the photo archives of The Oklahoman, first reported by Arkansas Business last month.
Hogan's complaint was the second fraud suit filed this week by a former business partner of Rogers and pushes the claims against him above $40 million.
According to Hogan's complaint, he entered into a $2 million loan/purchase agreement with Rogers that was supported by a bogus sales contract with the Oklahoma City newspaper. In return, Hogan was to get a 15 percent return on his investment and a 50 percent ownership of the photo archives. The deal never happened.
Hogan believes Rogers created a conveyor belt of bogus deals that lured him into continuing investments. Money collected from Hogan for later deals was used to repay him for earlier deals, according to the complaint.
Rogers often used post-dated checks to repay Hogan in an installment fashion as part of the scheme, according to the complaint.
Many of the incidents of alleged fraud detailed in Hogan's complaint involve sports memorabilia with bogus purchase agreements and bogus lucrative presale agreements to a third party.
Among the phantom transactions allegedly conjured by Rogers between May 2011 and January 2014 and recounted by Hogan along with supporting documents are:
• $450,000 purchase of the Freidman collection. Hogan invested $225,000 for a 50 percent stake.
• $360,000 purchase of the Stein collection. Hogan invested $240,000 for a 66.66 percent stake.
• $1 million purchase of the Jeff Fritsch collection. Hogan invested $500,000 for a 50 percent stake.
• $2.3 million purchase of the Ledding collection. Hogan invested $575,000 for a 25 percent stake.
• $1.4 million purchase of the Delbert Mickell collection. Hogan invested $437,500 for a 31.25 percent stake.
• $550,000 purchase of the Mott collection. Hogan invested $330,000 for a 60 percent stake.
• $1.6 million purchase of the Marvin Newman photo archive. Hogan invested $800,000 for a 50 percent stake.
• $1.87 million purchase of the Ingall collection. Hogan invested $623,271 for a 33.33 percent stake.
• $300,000 purchase of a Billy Sims 1978 Heisman Trophy. Hogan invested $150,000 for a 50 percent stake.
Other allegedly bogus deals that Rogers brought to Hogan involved the $6 million purchase of the Larry Fritsch collection in 2013.
The complaint also notes that Hogan has a $2.17 million exposure on a personal guarantee associated with four loans totaling more than $14 million. First Arkansas Bank & Trust of Jacksonville landed a default judgment against Rogers last month concerning the loans.
Hogan also personally guaranteed a $900,000 loan from Bank of Little Rock to buy digital scanning equipment that Rogers never purchased. The bank's fraud claim was reported last week by Arkansas Business.
Hogan also asks for $39 million in punitive damages to deter Rogers from such future conduct.