On May 10, 2012, Scott Yielding, President of Rogers Photo Archive, located at 2401 Poplar St. in North Little Rock reported to Detective Brandon Bennett of the North Little Rock Police Department that a large number of archive photographs had been stolen from the business.
Further investigation revealed that former employee Christopher Jackson (employment terminated in 2010), was selling the stolen archive photographs on eBay and accepting payments from the winning bidders via PayPal.
Records showed that a current employee, Steve Roby, was receiving PayPal payments from Christopher Jackson.
During a post-Miranda interview, Steve Roby admitted to Detective Brandon Bennett that since May 2011, he removed approximately 60 plastic totes, each containing between 1,200 and 2,200 photographs, from Rogers Photo Archive.
Roby further admitted that he delivered each of the plastic totes of photographs to Jackson’s residence on multiple occasions and recently observed multiple totes of archive photographs stacked in the garage.
Roby admitted that Jackson provided him with lists of photographs to steal and gave him cash and sent money to his PayPal account as payment. Roby advised that Jackson stores the totes of archive photographs in the garage of his residence and has observed a computer, a scanner, and hard drives inside the residence, which are used to create eBay listings for the stolen photographs. Roby was arrested for his involvement in this incident.
A search warrant for Jackson’s residence, located in Alexander, was executed by Detective Bennett and other North Little Rock Police Department Investigators and more than $2 million worth of stolen archive photographs were recovered along with the computer equipment used to sell them on eBay. Records of shipments for the photographs were recovered as well.
During a post-Miranda interview, Jackson admitted to Bennett that while he was still employed with Rogers Photo Archive, he rerouted PayPal payments for photographs owned by the company to his personal PayPal account. He further admitted that after his employment was terminated, he provided Roby with shopping lists of photographs to steal from Rogers Photo Archive.
Jackson stated that he paid Roby cash and through PayPal for the totes of photographs. Jackson admitted that he would scan the photographs, list them on eBay and sell them. He also admitted that all the photographs seized from his residence were purchased from Roby who stole them from Rogers Photo Archive.
Jackson was arrested for his involvement in this incident.
Bennett is assigned as a Task Force Officer with the United States Secret Service. Bennett contacted Special Agent Joseph Moore of the United States Secret Service and briefed him on the particulars of this investigation. Special Agent Joseph Moore, in collaboration with Bennett, continued the investigation and brought the case before the United States Attorney’s Office, who agreed to pursue federal charges against Jackson and Roby.
On Feb. 14, Jackson pleaded guilty in federal court to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. On Feb. 15, Roby plead guilty in federal court to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. The judge ordered the release of all photographs being held as evidence in this case, to be returned to Rogers Photo Archive. The photographs were released on Monday. Sentencing hearings for Jackson and Roby have not been set at this time.