Friday, April 19, 2013 at 12:35 AM
New details are emerging about the FBI and IRS raid three days ago on the headquarters of Pilot Flying J, where Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is CEO. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports a newly disclosed FBI document says the investigation centers on rebates paid to trucking customers.
The document was filed in federal court as part of the FBI’s request for a warrant to search Pilot Flying J’s headquarters and several homes around the country.
In 120 pages, it alleges that sales employees at the company deliberately underpaid trucking customers who had agreed to buy diesel fuel from Pilot Flying J in exchange for a rebate.
The FBI alleges the company targeted trucking customers who were believed to be “too unsophisticated” to realize their rebates had been reduced.
The document says that an informant told the FBI that Haslam attended a meeting at which the alleged fraudulent scheme was discussed.
In a written statement, Haslam said, “I maintain that the foundation of this company is built on its integrity and that any willful wrongdoing by any employee of this company at any time is intolerable.”
The statement goes on to say that Haslam and the company will cooperate with the investigation, and that the faith that customers have had in the company “has never been misplaced.”
Read Haslam's complete statement below:
“I’ve read the affidavits. I now understand more clearly the questions the federal investigators are exploring.
“I maintain that the foundation of this company is built on its integrity and that any willful wrongdoing by any employee of this company at any time is intolerable.
“We will continue to cooperate with the federal investigation and continue our own investigation in these allegations.
“I value the relationships we have with our customers, our vendors and our team members across this country and regret that they have to go through this with us, but I trust and believe their faith in this company and its principles has never been misplaced.”