Subway says it has completed its investigation into its former pitchman, Jared Fogle.
Fogle, 37, has been charged with possession of child pornography and engaging in sexual acts with minors, as revealed by Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson last month.
A spokesperson for Subway said in a statement Friday evening that the company “identified one complaint that was submitted via Subway’s website in 2011 that expressed concerns about Fogle.”
The statement does not elaborate on the nature of that complaint, only saying that it was “serious,” and that “there was nothing that implied anything about sexual behavior or criminal activity involving Mr. Fogle.”
Despite this, Subway expressed regret that the complaint “was not properly escalated or acted upon.”
This is the first time the sandwich chain has acknowledged receiving any warnings related to Fogle.
Subway declared last month that it had no prior knowledge of Fogle’s alleged sexual interest in children.
Cindy Mills, a former Subway franchisee who spoke to Business Insider, said she warned company executives about Fogle in 2008.
Mills claimed Fogle admitted to her that he’d had sex with minors and told her about trysts with child prostitutes between the ages of 9 and 16 years old in Thailand and the US.
Florida journalist Rochelle Herman-Walrond told Gawker last month that she warned Subway in 2009 about Fogle’s alleged questionable behavior involving children.
Subway says it combed through “more than one million comments submitted to the Company’s customer relations team” during its investigation into Fogle and examined past and present documents and interviews related to the former spokesman.
The investigation, Subway claims, found no further evidence of other complaints regarding Fogle.
Prosecutors say Fogle has agreed to plead guilty to multiple criminal charges related to sex with minors and possession and distribution of child pornography.
He is also expected to pay $1.4 million in restitution to his victims and face between five and 20 years in prison.
Here is Subway’s full statement on its investigation:
SUBWAY’s investigation of allegations regarding its former spokesman Jared Fogle is now complete. The investigation included an extensive review of more than one million comments submitted to the Company’s customer relations team, review of all available documents, and interviews with past and present Company and Franchisee Advertising Fund employees and management.
The investigation identified one complaint that was submitted via SUBWAY’s website in 2011 that expressed concerns about Mr. Fogle. Although the complaint was serious, there was nothing that implied anything about sexual behavior or criminal activity involving Mr. Fogle. We regret that this comment was not properly escalated or acted upon.
When we first learned of the investigation into Mr. Fogle, we immediately suspended and subsequently ended our relationship with him. The harm he caused so many is inexcusable and we continue to extend sympathies to his victims and their families.
It is important to note that the investigation found no further evidence of any other complaints of any kind regarding Mr. Fogle that were submitted to or shared with SUBWAY.
Since 2011, the company has strengthened its processes for reviewing and escalating customer comments, complaints and inquiries. Improvements are ongoing and include better tracking and follow-up systems as well as newer technologies to help better manage processes.