Defense attorneys representing the former president of Pilot Flying J in a fraud conspiracy trial continue to assert that the truck stop chain’s CEO, Jimmy Haslam, was aware of the plan to bilk millions of dollars from trucking companies whose representatives thought they were getting a discount on bulk fuel purchases.
In response to allegations raised in the trial in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga, the truck stop chain reissued a statement that asserts Haslam had no knowledge or involvement in the conspiracy.
Mark Hazelwood, the company’s former president, is currently on trial along with three other former Pilot Flying J employees, including former vice president of national sales Scott Wombold, and regional saleswomen Heather Jones and Karen Mann.
Another 14 former employees have pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from the conspiracy. Some of those who have pleaded guilty are now testifying against their former colleagues.
The conspiracy came to light in 2013 following a raid on the company’s Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters by the FBI and the IRS. Pilot Flying J’s board confessed to criminal responsibility and paid a $92 million penalty. The nation’s largest truck stop chain also paid an additional $85 million to settle various lawsuits filed by customers.
The criminal trial is expected to last another month.
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