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Rep. John Rogers’ assistant charged in scheme to misuse grant money

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An assistant to a longtime Alabama lawmaker has been charged with misusing state grant money intended for community projects in Jefferson County, federal prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Varrie Johnson Kindall, an assistant to state Rep. John Rogers, was indicted on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and obstruction of justice, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors said Kindall conspired with “others to defraud and obtain money” from the Jefferson County Community Service Fund. The fund is a pot of tax money distributed by area lawmakers for projects in the county.

Court records did not immediately show if Kindall has an attorney to speak on her behalf. Rogers did not immediately respond to a text message seeking comment. Rogers, a Democrat from Birmingham, has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 1982.

It is the second arrest in the investigation. Former Rep. Fred Plump Jr., a Democrat from Fairfield, in May resigned from the Alabama Legislature and pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors said between 2018 and 2022, Rogers directed $400,000 to Plump’s youth sports league and Plump steered $200,000 of that back to Kindall.

The indictment stated that Rogers also directed money from the fund to another group, named only as “Organization #1” in the indictment, and the founder of the organization “gave a portion of that money” to Kindall.

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