On April 18th, 2013, the FBI released a 120-page affidavit alleging that Pilot Flying J had practiced a scheme to defraud truck companies. Allegedly, Pilot Flying J would attempt to sell “rebates” based upon fuel purchase volume usage through Pilot Flying J sales, and then fail to deliver the rebates as promised. It is alleged that Flying J would target companies it deemed too “unsophisticated” to catch on to their failure to deliver as promised, according to the FBI affidavits recently filed.
Pilot Flying J CEO is Jimmy Haslam. His company allegedly has $29.2 Billion in annual sales. The State of Tennessee current acting Governor is Bill Haslam, Jimmy’s brother. Jimmy Haslam is also the current owner of the Cleveland Browns NFL football team.
The investigation into the accounting schemes of Pilot Flying J began on approximately May 4, 2011, when an employee of Pilot Flying J contacted the FBI, alleging that “certain Pilot employees had been intentionally defrauding some of Pilot’s Customers by deliberately charging these Customers a higher price than the contractually agreed upon price, and then concealing the fact and nature of this increased price from these victimized customers.” (excerpts from filed FBI affidavits).
What makes this case extremely disturbing are allegations that the company CEO, Jimmy Haslam, knew this type of conduct was occurring and did not change the conduct and business practices of Pilot Flying J. The FBI affidavit contains excerpts from numerous taped conversations of V.P. of Sales John Freeman. Mr. Freeman was taped at his lake house, according to the FBI affidavit, and stated “… sell it to ‘em the way they want to buy. And understand, the [expletive deleted] got the ability to know what the hell you’re doing to ‘em.”
Freeman also stated, in regards to his dealings with Western Express “[He] knew all along that I was cost-plussin’ this guy… He knew it all along. Loved it. We were makin’ $450,000 a month on him why wouldn’t he love it? … Did it for five years, cost us a million bucks. I mean, we made $6 Million on the guy, cost us a million bucks.”
Pilot Flying J was raided by the FBI based upon information contained in the FBI affidavit and investigation.
If you have any dealings with Pilot Flying J, which include:
Promise of Rebates with a lack of payment as promised;
Failure to pay rebates over time, with repayment amid claims it was a “accounting error” ; or
Promise of a fuel discount that was not delivered as promised,
Then you may be a part of this litigation. If so, you need to speak with a competent professional litigation attorney. If you do not yet have one, you need to speak with John Griffith immediately.
All Statements contained herein are based upon publicly provided FBI information. There has been no criminal conviction of any parties at this time, and the FBI investigation is ongoing.