BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Rep. John Rogers has been indicted in a fraud case involving corruption in a widely-used community fund.
Earlier this week, Rogers was indicted on two federal counts of obstruction of justice, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona. Rogers, 82, has represented District 52 –which includes Jefferson County — in the Alabama House of Representatives since 1982.
The case is part of an ongoing investigation into the workings of the Jefferson County Community Service Fund, which the legislature and the Jefferson County Delegation had used for community projects. Earlier this year, former Rep. Fred Plump of District 55 was indicted with conspiring to direct money from the fund into his Piper Davis Youth Baseball League between March 2019 and April 2023. Plump subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges and resigned from office.
“Between fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2022, Representative Rogers was allocated approximately $500,000 by the Fund,” Escalona said in a statement. “Rogers directed approximately $400,000 of those discretionary funds to Piper Davis. In turn, Plump gave approximately $200,000 to Kindall.”
Rogers was part of a 25-count indictment against several other people, including Varrie Johnson Kindall, 58, of Chelsea, who was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering, and four tax related charges.
“It is alleged that it was part of the conspiracy that Rogers, with Kindall’s assistance, recommended during each fiscal year that most of his allotment of Fund money be paid to Piper Davis,” the statement read. “In turn, Plump agreed to pay kickbacks to Kindall. Plump and Kindall submitted false and fraudulent information to the Committee about Piper Davis’ intended use of Fund money. Upon receipt and deposit of Fund checks, Plump gave checks to Kindall for approximately one-half of the amount of Fund money received by Piper Davis.”
The indictment alleges further that Rogers and Kindall allegedly attempted to thwart the investigation into the case by offering a witness additional grant money as a bribe to lie to federal agents.
The Jefferson County Community Service Fund is tax-funded and allocated $3.6 million per year. Rogers declined to comment on the indictment.
The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice is twenty 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.