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More federal charges for Rep. John Rogers

For the first time, Rogers is alleged to have received kickback money from grants he awarded.

State Rep. John Rogers on the floor of the Alabama House.

Rep. John Rogers is now facing more charges. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama announced on Friday that Rogers, 83, had again been indicted by a federal grand jury, which added more charges to those he already faced following a federal indictment late last year. 

In the new round of indictments, Rogers, who has served more than 40 years in the legislature, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, 3 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice, 3 counts of obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting the making of a false statement to federal investigators. 

All of the new, and the old, charges stem from Rogers’ involvement in a years’ long scheme to allegedly embezzle around a half-million in tax dollars he was supposed to send to needy charities and organizations around his Jefferson County district. Instead of doling out the money to such organizations, Rogers is alleged to have sent the money to a youth sports group controlled by former Rep. Fred Plump, who also has been indicted, resigned from the legislature and pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction charges. 

Plump is said to have kept some of the money and then kicked back more than $200,000 to Rogers and his assistant, Varrie Johnson Kindall. 

The new indictment alleges, for the first time, that Rogers also received some of the money and that he encouraged Kindall to lie to investigators. The indictment contains details of several checks sent to Plump at the youth sports organization and the manner in which he falsified records in order to steer nine payments totaling $196,000 to Kindall and Rogers. 

The indictment also states that Rogers and Kindall offered a witness grant money to get him to cover up the scheme. Also, it states that Rogers and Kindall had an agreement that she would take responsibility for the crimes and go to prison if Rogers would handle specific personal matters for her.   

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Kindall originally told investigators that Rogers was unaware of the kickbacks she received from Plump, and there was apparently little evidence that Rogers received money. It’s unclear if Kindall has changed her story or provided evidence to federal authorities.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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