Jared Fogle, former spokesman for Subway, was charged in a federal court with paying for sex with minors and possessing child pornography. Here's a look inside the charges and what investigators say he did. (The Washington Post)

Jared Fogle, who for years served as the spokesman for the sandwich chain Subway, is facing federal charges that he repeatedly paid to engage in sexually explicit acts with children and that he received and distributed child pornography, according to court documents.

Fogle, 37, will plead guilty to the charges, his attorney said Wednesday. He will also pay $1.4 million to 14 victims in restitution for counseling, support, treatment, or other assistance related to their victimization.

According to court documents released Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis, Fogle used Web sites to solicit commercial sex and traveled to engage in sexual acts with minors from 2007 until June 2015.

[Jared Fogle: Another VIP claiming to help children who allegedly harmed them]

The documents also allege that Fogle received images and videos of nude children from Russell Taylor, who served as executive director of Fogle’s childhood obesity charity. Taylor also distributed pornographic images of children who were as young as six to Fogle, the documents allege.

“Today, Jared Fogle has been charged and has admitted to participating in a five-year criminal scheme to exploit children,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said at a news conference. “This is about using wealth, status, and secrecy to illegally exploit children.”

Fogle was charged Wednesday; he is expected to formally enter plea at a later date.

Former Subway sandwich chain pitchman Jared Fogle was charged and admitted to "participating in a five-year criminal scheme to exploit children," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a news conference Wednesday. (Reuters)

Fogle became a Subway pitchman in 2000, as the story of his “Subway diet” helped the Connecticut-based sandwich giant market itself as a healthier option. Fogle said he lost 245 pounds as a college student in Indiana by exercising and eating Subway sandwiches, and he became a ubiquitous marketing presence on television.

In January of 2000, the first Subway commercial featuring Fogle ran. “You may have seen him on the news or a talk show,” a voiceover in the TV spot says as Fogle walks up to the doors of a Subway restaurant. “He was inspired by Subway’s great-tasting sandwiches.” The advertisements ends with him sitting on a bench, eating his sandwich and showing off his slim figure.

The campaign was a resounding success. With Fogle at its helm, the brand managed to market itself as the healthy fast food option just as Americans were beginning to prioritize health. By the end of the year, Subway’s sales had risen by almost 20 percent. Over the course of the following half-decade, the chain reported $7.7 billion in sales, twice what it had in 2000.

But following a July raid at Fogle’s Indiana home, Subway announced that it had “mutually agreed” to suspend its relationship with him. Tuesday, as Indianapolis TV stations began to report that Fogle would face federal charges, Subway said in a statement that it already ended its relationship with Fogle and had “no further comment.”

It was not clear when that relationship ended.

“Jared Fogle’s actions are inexcusable and do not represent our brand’s values,” Subway said in a statement Wednesday.

Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle left an Indianapolis court Aug. 19. He agreed to plead guilty to allegations that he paid for sex acts with minors and received child pornography. (AP)

Agents from the FBI’s Indianapolis field office processed Fogle on Wednesday morning, Special Agent Wendy Osborne told The Washington Post. Fogle was finger-printed, photographed and escorted to the federal courthouse, where appeared before a magistrate judge for a 12-minute mid-morning hearing, during which he appeared somber, according to a local reporter who was in the courtroom. He answered “no” when asked if he had any questions about his rights.

He was released with electronic monitoring. Amid a crush of reporters, Fogle walked out of the courthouse to a waiting car.

His attorney spoke briefly with reporters after the hearing, saying that Fogle was going to plead guilty to both charges.

“Jared Fogle expects to go to prison,” the lawyer, Jeremy Margolis, said. “He will do his time.”

Margolis said Fogle also expects to “continue to make amends” to those affected by his actions, and “at some point hopes to once again become a productive member of society.”

In a statement, Fogle’s wife, Katie Fogle, said she is “extremely shocked and disappointed” by the allegations against her husband. She added that she is in the process of “seeking a dissolution of the marriage.”

Law enforcement officials said the investigation began at the state level following a tip from a concerned citizen. Investigators combed through tens of thousands of text messages, e-mails and photographs as part of the inquiry. Eventually, the investigation grew to include local, state and federal agencies, including the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI.

According to prosecutors, Fogle began inquiring about sex with minors years before Taylor allegedly began producing child pornography in his home.

But beginning in 2011, Fogle became aware that Taylor was victimizing a 14-year-old girl and did not report it. He received and repeatedly viewed child pornography involving that girl.

As a result, prosecutors say, 11 other children were victimized in the scheme, many of them secretly recorded changing and showering in the home of Taylor, who began serving as executive director of Fogle’s foundation in 2009.

“We’re holding him responsible for all of that victimization,” Steven Debrota, the lead prosecutor in the case and head of the Safe Childhood Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said of Fogle. “He didn’t do the right thing.

“What he chose to do was profit from that exploitation and get the result for his own benefit and his own use,” Debrota added.

Four of the victims identified in the case are now adults, officials said.

Federal prosecutors have agreed not to ask for a prison sentence greater than 12½ years; Fogle has agreed to not ask for a sentence of less than five years. However, the court could impose a sentence that is higher or lower than the recommendations from both parties. The child pornography charges carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence and the child sex charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Fogle has been under a cloud of suspicion since the July raid at his home in Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis. Media crews watched as investigators removed electronics from the home and shuttled items to an evidence truck parked outside.

According to documents, a dozen minor victims were secretly filmed and photographed in Taylor’s home, and those sexually explicit images were then distributed to Fogle and others. Fogle allegedly knew the victims were under the age of 18 and that they were being secretly recorded. In some cases, Fogle knew their names, addresses and socialized with them at events in Indiana, the documents allege.

Fogle timed his business travel to coincide with his pursuit of “commercial sex acts,” according to the documents. Federal investigators claim he traveled between Indiana and New York City to engage in sexual acts with at least two minors, referred to in court documents as “Victim 13” and “Victim 14.” Both victims were female minors who were trafficked online.

According to the documents, in one incident, on Nov. 3, 2012, Fogle paid for sex with Victim 13 — who was 17 years old at the time — at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. He is also alleged to have offered to pay her money if she could find another underage girl for him to have sex with. Fogle, the court documents state, told the girl that “the younger the girl, the better.”


In this May 28, 2014, photo, Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle arrives at an event in Los Angeles. (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Prosecutors said on Wednesday that Fogle victimized children while traveling for work for Subway and his foundation.

“He’s taking advantage of being on business travel to do this when he’s otherwise doing business events,” said DeBrota, the lead prosecutor.

Fogle’s family released a statement Wednesday, saying his relatives were “shocked and profoundly disappointed in Jared’s abhorrent criminal behavior” and also “very concerned for the well being of those affected by his conduct.”

“At the same time, we are gratified that Jared is accepting responsibility for what he has done by agreeing to plea guilty to the charges filed today and by volunteering to make restitution to the victims,” the statement read. “We are also gratified that he is seeking medical treatment.

“We hope that he will become healthy again and are confident that after he serves his sentence, he will continue to make amends. We look forward to the day that he rejoins our family and society.”

The raid at Fogle’s home earlier this summer came after Taylor, the former executive director of Fogle’s charity, was arrested following the discovery of hundreds of child pornography videos at his home.

Court documents described Taylor as a “close personal friend” of Fogle’s. According to 2013 tax documents, Taylor earned a salary of $40,000 a year as the head of the foundation.

He has been charged with seven federal counts of production of child pornography and one possession charge.

Taylor was arrested in April; officials said Wednesday say that Fogle unsuccessfully solicited sex with minors as late as June.

This post has been updated. Roberto Ferdman contributed to this report.

Jared Fogle, former spokesman for Subway, was charged in a federal court with paying for sex with minors and possessing child pornography. Here's a look inside the charges and what investigators say he did. (The Washington Post)