Court records reveal kickback scheme involving youth baseball league, lawmaker’s assistant

Former State Representative Fred Plump has agreed to a plea agreement and faces up to 20 years in federal prison, $250,000 fine
Alabama lawmaker’s assistant indicted in kickback scheme
Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 8:38 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s a story that involves kickbacks, an affair, a youth baseball league, and your taxpayer money.

Fred Plump, who resigned from his newly-elected seat in the State House over the scandal, will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and obstruction of justice charges in federal court. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge. He has also agreed to pay $200,000 in restitution to the Jefferson County Community Service Fund.

The Fund is supported by tax dollars and each member of the Jefferson County delegation is allocated a share to direct to projects or organizations. Senators are allocated $240,000 while representatives receive $100,000, annually. A committee then reviews and approves lawmakers’ allocations.

Alabama state Rep. Fred L. Plump Jr., 76, D-Fairfield, agreed to step down from office after...
Alabama state Rep. Fred L. Plump Jr., 76, D-Fairfield, agreed to step down from office after being charged with federal crimes.(Source: Alabama House of Representatives)

Over four years, State Representative John Rogers directed $390,776.58 to the Piper Davis Youth Baseball League, managed by Plump. A 17-page plea agreement says the kickback scheme began after Plump received the first check from the fund.

The plea agreement mentions ‘Legislator #1′ and ‘Individual #1.’ Representative Rogers has identified himself to WBRC FOX6 as ‘Legislator #1′ and his assistant as ‘Individual #1.’

On the week of Aug. 28, the assistant to Rogers, identified as 58-year-old Varrie Johnson Kindall, was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with schemes to defraud the Jefferson County Community Service Fund.

Authorities say a 21-count indictment charges Kindall with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, 14 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering, and two counts of obstruction of justice.

According to court records, Rogers contacted Plump in 2019 to let him know he was allocating money to his baseball league. At a later meeting, court records say Rogers’ assistant told Plump she needed a portion of the money to fund a dance team.

The plea agreement says, “Plump agreed to pay kickbacks from Fund money directed to Piper Davis by Legislator #1 (Rogers). Plump understood that if he did not give half of the money to them, Legislator #1 would not direct Fund money to Piper Davis. Plump knew Individual #1 (Kindall) did not need money for a dance team. Individual #1 did not provide dancers or cheerleaders for Piper Davis events. Plump began a romantic relationship with Individual #1 soon after giving her the first check.”

Federal investigators say Plump wrote checks totaling $196,150.45 to Rogers’ assistant, who then spent the money on mortgage and credit card payments and cash withdrawals.

Plump admitted to falsifying records submitted to the Fund to cover up the kickback payments. According to the plea agreement, “Plump also signed a document falsely certifying that all funds would be used for permitted purposes. These emails caused interstate wire transmissions.”

Plump took another step to hide his actions, according to prosecutors, after he was first interviewed by FBI and IRS agents.

“Plump sent Individual #1 (Kindall) a text stated ‘Red Alert’ and naming a place for a meeting. Later, when meeting with Individual #1, Plump warned Individual #1 about the investigation and told her to ‘get your s*** in order’ and that she needed to find a dance team if she did not have one,’” according to court records.

WBRC FOX6 spoke with Rogers after these charges were announced and he said he was unaware of the alleged scheme. WBRC FOX6 has reached out to his assistant but have not heard back.

Plump’s attorney told WBRC FOX6 in May, “For decades, Representative Fred “Coach” Plump has tirelessly and unselfishly given so much to so many at-risk inner-city youths through the Piper Davis Youth Baseball League, a community based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which he created. Through his passion for sports and dedication to the Birmingham community, he has changed the lives of countless young boys and girls. Although he did not personally profit, his heart was always in the right spot despite the clear errors in judgment for which he now takes full responsibility. Representative Plump will be resigning his seat in the Alabama Legislature effective immediately. Fred Plump appreciates and is fortunate to have the overwhelming support of the community he has served for so long.”

You can view court records related to this case below:

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