Attorneys for former sports memorabilia dealer and photo archivist John Rogers have filed for a change of plea hearing, a strong indication he could be ready to admit to federal fraud charges.
That request was granted in the Chicago offices of U.S. District Court earlier this month with a change of plea hearing slated for February 3.
In September, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed felony fraud charges against Rogers following an FBI investigation. Rogers is accused of obtaining $10 million or more from investors and banks over a period of several years and never paying it back.
Agents raided his home and business in North Little Rock, AR in January of 2014.
The Arkansas Business Journal reports that Rogers will agree to a plea deal and receive 3-5 years in a federal prison camp in Millington, TN.
In those court papers filed with the U.S. District Court in Chicago, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon alleges that Rogers used fake contracts and phony sports memorabilia to secure loans for his businesses. Prosecutors say he then used the money he received from those banks and investors to repay customers who caught on that he was selling items that weren’t real.
One item cited in the September court filing is a ceremonial copy of a Heisman Trophy Rogers bought at an auction in 2009. The government claims Rogers created a fake nameplate for the award—and a letter of authenticity upon which he forged the player’s signature in an attempt to make it look like it was the player’s own award. Prosecutors claim Rogers used the inflated value of the trophy as collateral for a bank loan he obtained.