St. Johns County Employee Pleads Guilty to Extortion
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Will Randy Rogers (64, St. Augustine) pleaded guilty yesterday to extortion. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
According to the plea agreement, in August 2013, a St. Johns County businessman notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Rogers, then a construction inspector employed by St. Johns County, had been extorting money from him in connection with Rogers’s inspections of his various businesses, which shipped products out of the State of Florida. According to the businessman, Rogers harassed him by threatening to report non-existent code violations that, if reported, would have had a negative financial impact on the businesses. Prior to reporting Rogers’s conduct, the businessman had already paid Rogers $1,500. Thereafter, he recorded several conversations with Rogers, and between July 2013 and April 2014, made payments to Rogers totaling $6,000. When meeting with the businessman, Rogers often drove his St. Johns County issued vehicle.
On April 1, 2014, after Rogers took $2,000 from the businessman in order to not report alleged code violations, FBI agents stopped Rogers in his county vehicle and recovered the cash.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie Hackenberry.