There were rumblings that alleged serial fraudster John Rogers was going to California to defend himself at a June 6 trial.
That didn’t happen.
Despite noise to the contrary, Rogers was a no-show at San Francisco Superior Court after taking over his own defense in the civil fraud case on April Fools’ Day.
His absence made for abbreviated court action that resulted in a $1.7 million judgment in favor of Mark Roberts, son of George Roberts, billionaire financier and co-founder of private equity firm KKR & Co.
You might recall that Mark Roberts was first in a line of parties to sue Rogers after the FBI raided his North Little Rock business and home on Jan. 28, 2014. Roberts sued Rogers, his Sports Cards Plus and related ventures about three weeks later.
An avid collector of baseball memorabilia, Roberts alleged that Rogers knowingly sold him scores of counterfeit vintage baseball photos during 2006-10. The counterfeit claim is confirmed by FBI examination, according to his complaint.
A West Coast trip to defend himself in court would’ve presented a curious legal development for Rogers.
He remains under a court-ordered prohibition from leaving Arkansas since his Dec. 8 bond hearing before North Little Rock District Court Judge Jim Hamilton.
Rogers was arrested on charges of commercial burglary and theft of property from his former office. That case is still in review limbo.
Meanwhile in Little Rock Traffic Court on June 8, Rogers paid $575 and pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license and failing to appear at a May 4 hearing.
A charge of driving the wrong way on a one-way street was dropped as part of a plea deal negotiated through his public defender. An arrest warrant for Rogers was served May 31 for his no-show, and he posted a $400 bond to avoid jail.
The March 30 incident in the Stifft Station neighborhood of Little Rock that gave rise to the case wasn’t the first time the 42-year-old was ticketed for driving on a suspended license.
Five years ago, Rogers was blue-lighted for driving more than 15 miles over the speed limit in Faulkner County. The ensuing combo ticket for speeding and driving on a suspended license yielded a $474 fine.