State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) will face additional charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of justice in the ever-growing scandal surrounding a youth baseball kickback scheme that has already seen one state lawmaker resign his position.
Rogers was indicted on one count of obstructing justice and one count of obstruction by bribery in September 2023, following a fraud investigation involving a public works fund in Jefferson County. Both former State Rep. Fred Plump, Jr. (D-Fairfield) and Rogers' assistant, Varrie Johnson Kindall, received federal charges due to the investigation. Plump resigned shortly after the 2023 indictment.
Rogers was taken into custody in October 2023 after a federal judge revoked his initial bond after he was accused of contacting an unidentified witness whom Rogers had been accused of attempting to bribe into providing false and misleading information to federal law enforcement while under investigation.
According to U.S. attorneys, Rogers now faces additional charges, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice, three counts of obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting the making of a false statement to federal investigators.
The indictments stem from an alleged scheme in which Rogers is accused of redirecting funds from the Jefferson County Community Service Fund, designated for a youth baseball league run by Plump, to Kindall. Between 2018 and 2022, prosecutors say the fund allocated Rogers approximately $500,000, and Rogers directed roughly $400,000 to the youth baseball league. In turn, Plump gave about $200,000 to Rogers and Kindall as a kickback.
The newest indictment alleges that, after learning about the federal investigation into the fraud scheme, Rogers and Kindall attempted to obstruct justice by offering a witness grant money as a bribe and otherwise trying to corruptly persuade the witness to give false information to federal agents. It is also alleged that Rogers and Kindall agreed that she would accept full responsibility for the crimes and falsely tell federal investigators that Rogers did not participate in the scheme in exchange for Rogers' promise to take care of personal issues for Kindall if she went to prison.
Rogers pleaded not guilty to corruption charges prior to his bond revocation.
The maximum penalty for the fraud conspiracy and substantive fraud counts is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to obstruct justice is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice by bribery is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for making a false statement is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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