Jared Fogle, former Subway spokesman, has been in a lot of trouble lately, having pleaded guilty to both possession of child pornography and having sex with minors. It also turns out that his charity, The Jared Foundation, was defrauding donors for years.
The Jared Foundation was supposed to be dedicated to combating childhood obesity, which makes sense, since Fogle first came to prominence for losing a bunch of weight while eating Subway sandwiches. If that sounds too good to be true, then it follows that his charity was as well. From 2009 to 2013, while the charity was run by Fogle’s friend and co-conspirator Russell Taylor, it was supposed to pay out $2 million a year to school districts to help them combat childhood obesity. Instead, they paid out $73,000 a year.
Of the funds received, 60% went to paying Taylor’s absurdly high salary, while 26% of the funds were “unaccounted for.” It’s not clear where that money went, but it doesn’t seem like a long shot to assume that it went towards preying on children, as Taylor did use hidden cameras to record young children for the purposes of child pornography.
Suffice it to say, the Jared Foundation fired Taylor in May after he was arrested on multiple counts of child pornography. It’s likely not enough, as any donors who discovered just how much they were lied to by the foundation are unlikely to support them in the future, even if they can shed their connections to Taylor and Fogle.
There have been a number of other non-profits exposed for their fraudulent or otherwise illegal behavior in the United States and United Kingdom this year. On the one hand, it’s upsetting to learn that people are willing and able to not only take advantage of the kindness of others but to also make a great deal of money doing so. But on the other hand, it’s good that these organizations are being dismantled, making us all more aware of how seriously we need to take charities.