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Subway Ignored Early Signs of Jared’s Desire for Sex with Kids

Former Florida franchisee Cindy Mills has now come forward to tell her story of how Jared Fogle, Subway's pitchman for the past 15 years, related to her seven years ago his sexual interest in children. When she shared the information with Subway, she said they ignored her complaints.

Mills, a Subway franchise owner from 2006 to 2012, told Business Insider Fogle started calling her daily and making disturbing comments in early 2008, shortly after they had met at a Subway function. "He would just tell me he really liked them young," she stated.

Mills says Fogle admitted to her that he'd had sex with minors, telling her about trysts with child prostitutes between the ages of 9 and 16 years old in Thailand and the US.

The former restaurant owner previously told the reporter Fogle allegedly tried to get her to sell herself for sex on Craigslist. At that time, Mills requested anonymity, and hired an attorney to explore legal action against Subway for a potential breach of the franchisor-franchisee contract. The lawyer told her the sandwich chain could not be found culpable because Fogle wasn't an employee of Subway. He was then employed by the Subway Advertising Fund Trust (SAFT).

"They have pretty well isolated themselves from Jared's acts," Beasley told Business Insider. "We couldn't find an avenue to pursue where it would connect his acts and statements to any legal liability to Subway. Combine that with [Mills'] unwillingness to get out in public and say this and you end up staying silent."

Subway didn't respond to a request for comment on this story.

Mills said when she contacted Subway they directed her to Jeff Moody, then CEO of SFAFT. When they spoke by phone, Moody cut her off in the middle of the conversation saying, "Please don't tell me anymore." She said he indicated he had dealt with similar complaints in the past. Moody is currently CEO of Rita's Italian Ice.

Business Insider reported that when Mills contacted a regional Subway manager tasked with making sure franchisees have all appropriate signage and advertising in their stores, she asked the manager if she could remove all Jared Fogle signage from her restaurant. Her request was denied.

When asked why she never went to law enforcement with her concerns, Mills said it was because she was terrified of Fogle's money and influence. She says she was also concerned about her job with Subway.

"I thought, 'No one is going to believe me, he looks like the all-American boy' — but he's not," she said.

Mills said she went on to share her concerns about Fogle with two additional SFAFT executives at a Subway-sponsored NASCAR event in Phoenix. The last time she saw Fogle was at Subway's annual convention in 2011 in San Francisco. She was seated in a giant ballroom at a dinner with hundreds of guests when she spotted Moody and Fogle walking toward her.

The former franchisee said not long after that, she sold her Subway franchises and got out of the business. She's hoping other franchisees will not come forward with their similar stories.

Fogle was charged September 1 with possessing and distributing child pornography and traveling across state lines to have sex with minors.


Business Insider Article: Subway Franchisee Said Subway Knew about Jared's Disturbing Behavior

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About Janet Sparks

Janet Sparks's picture

Public Profile

Janet Sparks is the former publisher of the Continental Franchise Review, an industry newsletter that covered the franchise community for over 30 years. She has also been a columnist for a leading franchise magazine for the past 13 years. Today she is an independent journalist who engages in investigative reporting, tackling complex issues that impact the franchise industry.

Janet can be reached at jsparks@bluemaumau.org or at 303-799-7398.