Former Pilot Flying J President Sentenced

Hazelwood will serve more than 12 years in prison.

A federal judge in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Wednesday, Sept. 26 ordered the former president of Pilot Flying J to serve more than 12 years in federal prison as the mastermind of a five-year fraud plot to grow the firm’s market share, USA Today reported.

In addition to spending 150 months behind bars, Senior U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier also ordered Mark Hazelwood to pay a $750,000 fine.

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“The motive was hubris—his competitiveness … his desire to capture more market share for Pilot,” Collier said. “The defendant improperly took it upon himself to use the Pilot name and reputation … This degree of commandeering … the court is not aware of any reported case where such a situation has happened.

“Mr. Hazelwood abused the trust of Pilot and the trust placed in him,” Collier continued. “The participants (in the fraud scheme) laughed and joked about it. They used extreme and offensive language. They used Pilot’s email … cellphones … financial management system. They talked openly of this criminal activity … He violated the law on a constant and repeated basis for half a decade.”

Collier is allowing Hazelwood to remain free through November while the U.S. Bureau of Prisons determines in what facility he will be housed. He will remain under conditions of house arrest imposed after his conviction in February, according to the USA Today report.