Owner-operator files seventh lawsuit against Pilot Flying J

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | Monday, May 20, 2013

An owner-operator from North Carolina has filed a class action lawsuit against Pilot Flying J, making this the seventh suit filed against the truck stop chain since news of the alleged fuel rebate scheme surfaced in mid-April.

Jerry Floyd of Alexander County, NC, has filed the class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola.

According to court documents, Floyd conducts a “substantial amount of his business within the state of Florida and this judicial district.”

On April 15, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service raided Pilot Flying J corporate headquarters, seizing computers and documents related to the alleged fuel rebate fraud scheme.

Since the FBI and the IRS launched their criminal investigation, at least six civil lawsuits have been filed against Pilot Flying J. The lawsuits are based on the FBI’s affidavit for a search warrant, now unsealed. In the affidavit, claims were made by former employees and informants cooperating with the FBI that sales staff entered into rebate or discount programs with trucking companies for purchasing a certain volume of fuel each month, but then manually reduced the amounts the companies were owed.

“We’ve been advised by counsel (that) class action lawsuits in a matter like this are expected and no surprise,” said Tom Ingram, Pilot Flying J spokesman, in a statement to Land Line on Wednesday, May 15. “Our counsel will review them as they come and defend them appropriately.”

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