Federal officials have confirmed that former Subway sandwich company spokesman Jared Fogle on Tuesday agreed to plead guilty to charges of possessing child pornography. The United States Attorney’s office will formally discuss the deal and charges facing Fogle. In July, authorities conducted a day-long search inside Fogle’s Indiana home, two months after the executive director of Fogle’s foundation was arrested on federal child pornography charges. Subway suspended its relationship with Fogle after the raid.
Authorities at the time were seen removing numerous items from Fogle’s home, carrying them out in bags, boxes and briefcases. Fogle was present for part of the search, but he left his home in the Zionsville suburb northwest of Indianapolis as the search continued. The FBI would not previously discuss whether the actions at the home of Fogle, a father of two, were connected to the child pornography case against Russell Taylor, the former foundation executive.
The sandwich chain last month suspended its year’s long relationship with Fogle, who gained fame as a proponent of his Subway diet. Subway tweeted on Tuesday that “we no longer have a relationship with Jared.” Though Fogle has not been seen in front of the camera he previously made appearances on the company’s behalf. Fogle’s history with Subway reaches back to when he was a student at Indiana University. The college paper published a story on his weight loss that was then picked up by national media. Soon after, Subway’s advertising agency reached out to Fogle and asked if he wanted to be in a TV commercial. The ensuing ad campaign resonated in part because Fogle seemed like such a regular guy, which made weight loss seem simple and achievable.
Following Taylor’s arrest, the Jared Foundation cut all ties with the former executive director and Fogle issued a statement saying he was ‘shocked’ by the allegations. Taylor was formally charged in court on May 4 with seven counts of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography, and ordered held at the Marion County jail. He attempted suicide while behind bars on May 6, but survived and was rushed to an Indianapolis area hospital to be put on life support.
Attorneys for Fogle claimed earlier this week that federal agents found no evidence of child pornography when they raided his home on July 7. Fogle’s team pointed out the fact that he has not yet been arrested, saying that if the FBI had reason to detain the Subway spokesman he would already be behind bars. Investigators with the FBI, State Police and Postal Service showed up at the home around 6:30am Tuesday morning to conduct the raid, after Fogle’s wife and two young children left for the day. Fogle was detained outside the home while they worked for hours bringing computer hard-drives and other electronics and documents out of the house and into a waiting police trailer for analysis. An FBI spokesman confirmed that the agency is conducting a criminal investigation in the area, but would not comment further on the search.