A former Subway franchise owner claims she warned a top executive at the company in 2008 about concerns that Jared Fogle had paid for underage sex.
Cindy Mills met Fogle at an event and he later began talking about having paid for sex with minors in Thailand, her Florida-based lawyer Robert Beasley said, according to the AP. Mills then alerted Jeff Moody, who was in charge of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, which handles the company’s marketing.
Fogle has since been bombarded with allegations in an extensive child pornography investigation. He appeared in federal court in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Aug. 19 and agreed to plead guilty to distribution and receipt of child pornography and unlawful sex acts with minors.
The former pitchman also admitted to paying for sex with a 16-year-old he found on Craigslist, Mills allegedly told Moody back in 2008, and offered to show him texts between them but he stopped her and said he didn’t want to hear anymore.
Moody said he had dealt with similar comments, and reassured Mills that Fogle had met a teacher who would get him on the right track, according to the AP. “To me, it was confirmation that they knew about it,” Beasley said.
Mills considered suing Subway, but didn’t because there is a “good bit of legal separation between Jared and Subway,” her attorney said, and the company was structured in a way that would protect him. At that time, Subway’s franchise advertising fund, which Moody was in charge of, was controlled by franchisees, and Subway had little say in the fund until 2010.
The food company said it does not have a record of the complaints about Fogle by the former franchisee, which were previously reported by Business Insider.
Jeff Moody, currently CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice, was CEO of Subway’s franchise advertising fund from 2007 to 2011.
When prosecutors charged Fogle on Aug. 19, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota said that there were no charges or allegations at the time that anybody at Subway knew what Fogle was doing.
Court documents released last week show that Fogle agreed to a sentence of no less than five years, while prosecutors agreed not to seek a sentence of more than 12 and a half years, although they could have asked for much more time.
Fogle has also agreed to pay $1.4 million in restitution, to be divided among 14 minor victims.
Subway posted a statement on Twitter Aug. 18 distancing itself from Fogle, stating: “We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment.”