Olivia Covington for www.theindianalawyer.com
Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is continuing his legal fight against his 2015 child pornography convictions, this time filing a complaint in a Washington, D.C., district court alleging judicial fraud and seeking $57 million in damages.
Fogle’s D.C. filing is part of a three-plaintiff complaint against judicial and government officials in Indiana and Minnesota, as well as the U.S. Attorney General’s Office under the Obama administration. Fogle’s portion of the complaint names seven defendants, including Southern District of Indiana Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who in November 2015 sentenced Fogle to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count each of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography. The filing is the latest in a series of pro se jailhouse filings by Fogle that sometimes have incorporated sovereign citizen-styled pleadings.
The complaint also names Northern District of Illinois Judge Jorge Alonso; 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges Joel Flaum and Daniel Manion; assistant U.S. attorney Steve DeBrota; and Jeremy Margolis and Andrew DeVooght, Fogle’s federal defenders.
The Indianapolis native alleges those seven defendants committed fraud against him by encouraging, accepting and/or affirming his guilty plea to a “conspiracy” charge. That claim stems from his conviction of distribution and receipt of child pornography, which includes conspiracy language. Fogle argues “conspiracy” is not a valid charge under 18 United States Code section 2252(a)(2), and he has filed multiple motions challenges to his 15-year sentence on those grounds.
Looking specifically to his defense team, Fogle claims Margolis and DeVooght violated his rights by failing to correct the allegedly erroneous charge and by encouraging him to pay $1.4 million in restitution to victims he claimed he had no connection to. He similarly argued DeBrota engaged in a conspiracy to defraud Fogle and his business, Jared Fogle, Inc., by “gaining unlawful access” to the business’ assets.
Finally, Fogle’s complaint against the U.S. attorney general — which was joined by the other two inmate plaintiffs, James Fry and Frank Pate — alleged that because their convictions and sentences were illegal, the U.S. government committed kidnapping by transporting them across state lines.
Fogle is an Indianapolis native who was living in Zionsville before he became incarcerated in Littleton, Colorado.
All three defendants requested a jury trial, habeas relief and orders requiring their respective district courts “to provide a vacate order to each respective sentencing court.” They also sought the termination of each of the defendants’ federal employment and requested prosecution against them. Fogle also requested $57 million in treble damages.
The March 23 complaint was accompanied by a motion for injunctive relief seeking “unfettered” email and phone communication between the three plaintiffs. As of April 6, the D.C. court had not yet ruled on the motion for injunctive relief.