Pilot Flying J to pay $92M fine


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Originally Posted Online: July 14, 2014, 1:44 pm
Last Updated: July 14, 2014, 5:37 pm
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities say the truck-stop company owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has agreed to pay $92 million in fines for cheating customers out of promised rebates and discounts.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has accepted responsibility for the criminal conduct of its employees, 10 of whom have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme.

In January, Brian Mosher, a former director of sales for Pilot Flying J from Bettendorf, admitted to training other company employees on how to cheat customers. The highest ranked executive to plead, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. He is awaiting sentencing.

The agreement signed Friday by attorneys for the nation's largest diesel retailer does not protect any individual at Pilot from prosecution and requires the company to cooperate with an ongoing investigation of current and former employees.

Jimmy Haslam has said he was unaware of the scheme. Through a spokesman, he declined an interview on Monday, but issued a statement: "We, as a company, look forward to putting this whole unfortunate episode behind us, continuing our efforts to rectify the damage done, regaining our customers' trust, and getting on with our business."

Gov. Bill Haslam holds an undisclosed ownership share in the company but has said he is not involved in Pilot's day-to-day operations.

Pilot agreed in November to pay out nearly $85 million to settle claims in a class-action lawsuit with 5,500 trucking companies. Several companies have filed separate lawsuits against Pilot that are ongoing.

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