Pilot Flying J can breathe a momentary sigh of relief as all civil suits filed in federal court against the truck stop and travel center chain have, at this point, either been dismissed, settled or are under negotiation to be settled.
WBIR 10 News Online reported that according to documents, the decision to dismiss the final federal lawsuit came in late October when a U.S. District judge in Alabama agreed to remove one filed by Mobile-based Wright Transportation at its own request.
Nonetheless, a number of employees continue to face criminal charges, while others are awaiting sentencing following a mid-April 2013 raid by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents on Pilot’s West Knoxville-based headquarters.
The company was accused of rebate fraud against trucking companies dating back to 2008. Some 10 Pilot employees have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Knoxville to various charges related to mail fraud and wire fraud, and all agreed to testify against others in the case.
In addition, at least three top ranking former and current employees have received federal target letters, which are often the last step before an indictment. They include: Former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood; John Freeman, the company’s former vice president of sales; and did Karen Crutchman, a senior accounts manager based out of the company’s Knoxville headquarters, according to WBIR 10 News Online.
CEO Jimmy Haslam, who also owns the Cleveland Browns, has not received a federal target letter. He has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the scheme.