Cleveland Browns Owner participates in deposition in Knoxville in relation to the trucking rebate fraud scheme discovered in 2013.
Cleveland Browns Owner and Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam was deposed Tuesday, Dec. 13, in a civil lawsuit against the Pilot Flying J in relation to the trucking rebate fraud scheme that came to light after federal agents raided the company’s headquarters in April 2013.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported that the deposition occurred in a conference room at the Pilot Aviation hangar at the Knoxville, Tenn. airport. It was not open to the public.
The lawsuit was filed by companies that opted not to participate in an $85 million settlement between Pilot and 5,500 trucking companies in connection with the rebate fraud.
The Akron Beacon Journal noted that Pilot also previously paid a $92 million federal penalty in an agreement with prosecutors in which the company accepted responsibility for the criminal actions of its employees.
Meanwhile, 10 employees have pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. Another eight employees are expected to go to trial in October, according to Cleveland.com.
Haslam has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or previous knowledge of the fraud and had tried to block the deposition in the case, according to The Akron Beacon Journal.
“Mr. Haslam’s deposition is not warranted by the facts in these cases and plaintiffs’ pursuit of his deposition is nothing more than harassment,” attorney Steve Brody said in a statement. “Mr. Haslam is nevertheless eager to put this gamesmanship behind him and therefore voluntarily agreed to sit for deposition by the remaining civil plaintiffs,” Brody said.