Jack Rose, Mastermind Behind Goodyear's Cleveland Indians/Cincinatti Reds Spring Training Complex, Charged in Criminal Complaint

Jack Rose, the man who put together the deal to bring the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds to Goodyear for spring training, only to be driven from the project under a cloud of suspicion, has been charged in a criminal complaint.

The felony charges were filed by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office on March 15. The direct complaint charges Rose with theft, taking the identity of another, and forgery.

The charges stem from a $35,936 tax-refund check that Rose deposited in a bank account he controlled, eventually using it to pay off one of his debts -- even though the money allegedly belonged to a limited-liability company from which he'd been forced to resign.

Those charges, while serious, are somewhat ironic considering Rose's record of scheming and shady dealing -- sort of, we suspect, like the charges of tax evasion that the feds eventually brought against Al Capone.

As New Times detailed in a column here, Rose faces serious allegations of impropriety from the Goodyear family who hired him to turn their farm into the Goodyear Ballpark.

And that's not all.

Years before he set himself up as a development guru in the then-hot southwest Valley, Rose served as the top aide to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim Irvin, then a rising star in the Republican Party.

But in Rose's clumsy attempts to set up a second career for himself as an investment banker, he ended up saddling the state of Arizona with an unprecedented $60 million judgment -- and destroying Irvin's political career. Irvin was forced to resign from office just to avoid impeachment, even as Rose sailed away with little repercussion.

After that, he quickly established himself as the go-to guy for Goodyear families trying to develop their family farms -- schmoozing politicians, setting up a complicated tangle of limited-liability companies to serve as construction managers and consultants, and generally establishing himself as a bigshot.

The federal government, shockingly, even allowed him to charter a new bank.

The scheme started to unravel in 2008, when the families hired by Rose began taking a closer look at the fine print. The Wood family, which had hired Rose to develop the land for the Indians and the Reds, realized they were on the hook for millions -- despite owning their family farm free and clear at the time Rose got the Major League Baseball teams involved. They fired him, then filed a lawsuit against him. That led to a domino effect: bank after bank began suing Rose for defaulting on their loans. He ultimately resigned from the bank he founded.

This appears to be the first time, however, that Rose has ever faced criminal charges.

A probable-cause statement filed by Maricopa County sheriff's detectives alleges that Rose set up a bank account to cash a $35,936 tax-refund check. The check was issued to a limited liability company that Rose had once been associated with; however, he'd resigned from the company months before the check arrived.

The complaint alleges that, instead of getting the check to its true owners, Rose set up a bank account in the company's name, using Secretary of State paperwork from 2005 showing his membership in the company at the time. He used the money to help pay off his debt to another entity -- then closed the account.

Under deposition in an unrelated civil case, Rose was asked about the check. According to the probable-cause statement, Rose then "admitted that he thought he had resigned as a manager of [the limited liability company], but was unsure due to the fact that he could not locate the letter of resignation." He had, he acknowledged, a "recollection of resigning."

But he set up the dummy account and deposited the check anyway. And so, in January, one of the lawyers aware of Rose's admission in the deposition took a packet of information to the Sheriff's Office. On March 12, Rose submitted to questioning from sheriff's detectives -- and appears to have been booked into jail at the end of the interview.

The County Attorney's Office followed up on March 15 with the three felony charges.

We'll have more on this story as it develops. Rose is due to make an initial appearance in court April 1. If nothing else, at that point, we'll be able to learn who's serving as Rose's attorney, and perhaps get an inkling of how the heck he intends to skate free this time.

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