Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

July 15, 2014

Truckstop chain to pay $92M fine

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities say the truckstop 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, ten of whom have pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme.

The agreement was signed Friday by attorneys for the nation’s largest diesel retailer.

The agreement does not protect any individual at Pilot from prosecution and requires the company to cooperate with an ongoing investigation of current and former employees.

Two Pilot Flying J truckstops are located in Lowndes County, one near Valdosta and one in Lake Park.

Jimmy Haslam has said he was unaware of the scheme.

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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