published Thursday, April 18th, 2013

FBI: Pilot worker says Haslam knew of rebate fraud

NASHVILLE — An FBI agent’s affidavit says a Pilot Flying J employee told authorities that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam knew about rebate fraud at the truck stop chain his family owns.

The 120-page document was filed Thursday in federal court in Knoxville, where Pilot is based. It identifies the employee only as a confidential source.

Haslam issued a statement saying the foundation of the company is integrity and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

The company headquarters was raided Monday by FBI and IRS agents. Pilot Flying J is a private company mostly owned by Haslam, his brother Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other family members.

It is the nation’s No. 1 retailer of diesel fuel, and its customer rebate program with trucking firms is at the center of the investigation.

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