Remember when John Rogers allegedly stole three hard drives containing digital images valued at $364,167 from his former Sport Cards Plus offices in North Little Rock back in August 2015?
The former high-flying sports memorabilia and photo dealer was arrested four months later on charges of commercial burglary and theft of property.
Well, those criminal charges finally generated a case on Sept. 7 in Pulaski County Circuit Court against the 44-year-old Rogers. He has remained free on $50,000 bond since his release on Dec. 8, 2015, after spending the weekend in jail.
Two of those hard drives, purchased by the court-appointed receiver of Sports Card Plus et al, were recovered from Rogers during his arrest by North Little Rock police.
His plea and arraignment hearing is set for Oct. 30 before Judge Barry Sims.
On the federal criminal front, Rogers pleaded guilty to wire fraud on March 7 in Chicago’s U.S. District Court.
That was the product of a plea agreement linked with his scheming “to fraudulently obtain at least approximately $10 million” from investors, financial institutions and customers.
Rogers admitted that through Sports Card Plus and Rogers Photo Archive he defrauded investors, customers and banks through a variety of schemes that included false pretenses, misrepresentations and lies.
The plea agreement said the false statements included assets held by the companies, the total value of those assets, the expected return on investments, the use of proceeds raised from investors and the use of proceeds provided by lenders.
His sentencing, originally scheduled for Sept. 12, has been reset for Nov. 20.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, but Rogers is likely facing about eight years in federal prison if he continues to cooperate with federal investigators. He also awaits court-ordered restitution yet to be determined.