John Rogers, the fallen sports memorabilia and photo archive dealer, made a surprise appearance Wednesday morning in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
The court appearance marked a first for the alleged serial fraudster since a string of litigation was unleashed after federal agents raided his North Little Rock business and mansion on Jan. 28, 2014.
Rogers, 42, attended the hearing before Judge Chris Piazza but didn't speak. His civil lawyer, Brett Myers of Dallas, and his criminal lawyer, Blake Hendrix of Little Rock, did when the subject before the court shifted from administrative motions to talk of a contempt hearing for their client.
The request for a contempt hearing was made on behalf of Michael McAfee, court-appointed receiver for the insolvent business ventures of Rogers and his ex-wife, Angelica.
McAfee alleges that John Rogers illegally entered his former offices shortly before midnight on Aug. 21 and stole three hard drives purchased by the receivership that contained backup copies of digital images valued at about $400,000 on the company’s books.
"There's no truth to these allegations," Myers told the court.
Any potential criminal charges are in the hands of Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley, who "is considering the case," according to Myers.
In a court filing, Rogers claimed the hard drives were assets he bought personally as part of a meandering account of the events that led to his late-night office visit.
Myers said Rogers went to the North Little Rock Police Department and voluntarily turned in the drives he removed from the building on Aug. 21. That move came after the receiver filed a complaint and provided the police with security camera footage of Rogers on the property.
"We dispute that," Andrew King, attorney for the receiver, told the court. "Those are not the hard drives that Mr. Rogers turned over to the North Little Rock Police."
Piazza scheduled a Dec. 10 hearing to consider the receiver's motion for civil contempt against Rogers.