Unless you had personal dealings with him or bought historic photos from his company, you may not have heard of John Rogers, the former sports memorabilia dealer and photo archivist from Arkansas.
Rogers, though, had been actively involved in the hobby for years until federal agents caught up him a couple of years ago, raiding his business and home as a mini-empire built on lies and unpaid loans began to collapse.
Earlier this year, Rogers admitted in a plea agreement that he carried out a fraud scheme between 2009 and 2014 through his two Arkansas-based businesses, Sports Card Plus and Rogers Photo Archive LLC, resulting in losses of more than $9.5 million to investors, customers and financial institutions.
In order to obtain money from investors, Rogers created bogus contracts that showed he’d acquired collections of sports memorabilia including some of the hobby’s most expensive baseball cards owned by prominent hobby figures. Rogers told investors he would sell the items—along with historic photographs from his archive business—at a profit.
It was a tangled web that finally unraveled and barring a delay, Rogers will be sentenced in federal court in September.
Arkansas Business Journal called it “one of the three largest frauds ever perpetrated in our state.” They recently chronicled Rogers’ missteps in a story entitled “House of Cards: How John Rogers Bilked Banks, Conned Collectors.”