A former executive who was in charge of Subway's advertising says he wasn't aware of pitchman Jared Fogle's criminal sexual conduct with minors in 2008, contradicting the statement of a former franchisee.
Jeff Moody, who was CEO of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, said in a written statement Friday that he was "shocked" to learn of the "deplorable criminal sexual behavior with minors" to which Fogle has agreed to plead guilty.
Moody's statement adds that "like any decent human being" he is "repulsed" by it. He said he learned this summer about the allegations against Fogle, a Zionsville resident whose relationship with the sandwich chain has ended.
Attorney Robert Beasley, representing former Subway franchisee Cindy Mills, has said Mills shared her concerns about Fogle's behavior with Moody in 2008. He also said Mills shared her concerns with a regional Subway contact in Florida, where she is based.
Beasley didn't respond to calls Friday. Earlier in the day, he said Mills didn't want to speak anymore.
Fogle, who was widely known as Jared or as the Subway Guy, on Aug. 19 agreed to plead guilty to allegations that he paid for sex with girls as young as 16 and received child pornography. The agreement with Fogle released by prosecutors said he will pay $1.4 million in restitution to 14 minor victims, with each victim receiving $100,000.
The government agreed not to seek a sentence of more than 12-1/2 years in prison, and Fogle agreed not to ask for less than five years.
Subway said the same day that it had ended its relationship with its long-running pitchman, who became famous after dropping more than 200 pounds by eating its sandwiches. The company had already scrubbed references to him from its website weeks earlier when his home was raided and authorities removed electronics.
Fogle was married with two children, but his wife filed for divorce the day he agreed to plead guilty.
On Friday, Subway said it was continuing its investigation about any potential concerns it may have received about Fogle.
Beasley has said that Mills began communicating with Fogle after they met at an event. According to Beasley, Fogle told her about paying for sex with minors as young as 9 years old on a trip to Thailand and paying for sex with a 16-year-old he found on Craigslist. In 2008, Beasley said, Mills shared her concerns about Fogle's comments with Moody.
But according to Beasley, Moody told Mills he had dealt with similar comments and did not want to hear any more. Moody reassured Mills that Fogle had met a teacher who would get him on the right path, Beasley said.
At the time, Moody was CEO of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, which handles the company's marketing. The fund was controlled by franchisees at the time, according to Blue MauMau, a site for franchisees. But after 2010, Subway took control of it.
A representative for Moody, who is now CEO of Rita's Italian Ice, said he was not available for comment beyond his statement.
Subway said the company has no record of her complaint to Moody. The company said Moody did not work for Subway's corporate offices and was not a member of management.
"Jeff served as the CEO of the Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, a separate franchisee-run organization that operated at a separate address and with a separate staff from Subway corporate," the company said in a written statement. "As previously stated, we have no record of Cindy Mill’s complaint to Jeff Moody. We are continuing our investigation into this matter."