The website of The Jared Foundation, which was pulled down on June 8, 2015. (The Jared Foundation)(INDIANAPOLIS) — Jared Fogle, the longtime spokesman for sandwich giant Subway, may be instantly recognizable to millions of people after starring in the company’s ads for 15 years but less is known about his eponymous charity.
The Jared Foundation’s executive director, Russell Taylor, was arrested on federal child pornography-related charges two months ago and now Fogle has become the subject of an off-shoot FBI investigation and his Indiana home was raided by law enforcement on Tuesday.
The charity’s mission statement, as listed on both its website and on multiple tax filings, is “to work with children, their parents and caregivers to educate them and to create programs to help avoid and deal with childhood obesity.”
Much of the charity’s work appears to be dedicated to starting partnerships with schools and companies, arranging “Jared Joggers” groups for various marathons and fundraising runs across the country.
The Jared Foundation does not have its own social media accounts, instead linking its website to Fogle’s verified accounts. It was there that he announced a partnership with MGM in 2012. MGM did not immediately respond today to requests by ABC News for more information.
Though the website appeared to have gone down or been taken down and was inaccessible as of mid-Wednesday morning, when the website was working, the foundation accepted online donations. There was even a special deal for donors to become VIPs by joining “Club 245″ by donating $245, highlighted because it was the number of pounds Fogle said he first lost when he started eating two Subway sandwiches a day when he was in college.
The foundation, as well as two members listed on the foundation’s tax filing documents, did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
The foundation’s website noted that it was founded in 2004 but online database Charity Navigator notes that it wasn’t officially recognized as having tax-exempt status until May 2006.
In keeping with federal tax rules, the group filed a 990 form each year, and those forms from 2006 to 2013, the latest available report, are publicly available.
Fogle is listed as a “member” of the organization in each filing, with Russell “Russ” Taylor as the executive director since 2009. Two other individuals — J.L. Hou and Josh Garrett — are also listed as members during that time period and Dr. Norman Fogle, Jared’s father, is listed as a member in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The only other person listed in the documents is Joy Hafner, who was identified as the executive director in 2007 and 2008, and a paid former executive director in 2009. ABC News’ calls to Hou, Garrett and Hafner were not immediately returned.
Fogle never received any compensation from the organization, according to the tax forms, and he and the other members noted that they dedicated two hours per week to the group.
The documents show that Taylor was the one who spent the most time working for the group, reporting that he dedicated 40 hours per week with his pay starting at $18,900 in 2009 and topping out at $40,008 in 2013.
Fogle gave a statement to The Indianapolis Star immediately after Taylor’s arrest, saying that the foundation was “severing all ties” with him.
Taylor faces eight preliminary federal felony charges, including multiple counts of possession of child pornography, voyeurism and child exploitation. It was not immediately clear whether Taylor has entered a plea. Federal prosecutors have until August to impanel a grand jury, according to Taylor’s lawyer.
After the 11-hour search of Fogle’s home on Tuesday, the 37-year-old spokesman has not been charged with any crime.
“Jared has been cooperating, and continues to cooperate, with law enforcement in their investigation of unspecified charges, and looks forward to its conclusion,” Fogle’s attorney, Ron Elberger, said in a statement on Tuesday. “He has not been detained, arrested or charged with any crime.”
Subway announced Tuesday afternoon that they were temporarily suspending their relationship with Fogle in light of the investigation.
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