For the third time in a week, Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam made a public statement. On Monday, April 22, regarding the federal investigation of the Knoxville-based corporation on allegations of fuel rebate fraud, he called the events of the past week “embarrassing” and “painful.”
“Based on all we know at this time,” he said, “this federal investigation is focused on a narrow slice of our business in which rebates on diesel fuel purchases are manually calculated and paid to a relatively small number of our 3,300 trucking company customers.
He spoke to the press from the company’s Tennessee headquarters. While careful to say he did not know if the company was guilty or innocent, he announced a plan. Haslam said the company is taking the plan directly to its trucking company customers and would be moving through this process as quickly as possible, estimating it will take four to eight weeks.
One of the steps is to bring a field audit team to Knoxville to review all 3,300 contracts with Pilot Flying J’s trucking company customers.
“If we find an underpayment, we will encourage the affected customer to review our finding, test with their own audit if they like,” he said, “and if we owe them money, we will write them a check immediately.
He said he’d already spoken personally to several customers, including Curt Morehouse with Morehouse Trucking and Tommy Hodges, owner of Titan Transfer.
“We are working with Curt to reconcile his account, and I will be going to Tommy on Wednesday,” he said.
Regarding the “abuse that might be enabled by manual calculation and payment,” Haslam said manual processing was being eliminated and all customers would be placed on electronic direct bill, expecting the process to be completed by June 30.
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