Former W.N. Morehouse trucker files class-action lawsuit against Pilot

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 6/5/2013

An owner-operator formerly leased to W.N. Morehouse Truck Line of Omaha, NE, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Pilot Flying J, alleging he and others did not receive the full rebates and discounts they were owed on fuel purchases.

According to the complaint, Paul Otto of Wisner, NE, was leased on to Morehouse, which had a fuel rebate agreement with Pilot Flying J. In the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s affidavit released in mid-April, Morehouse was one of the companies identified as a target of the alleged fraud. The company recently received a refund from Pilot for more than $146,000. Morehouse has not filed a lawsuit against the truck stop chain.

The lawsuit seeks to recover unspecified damages Otto and other drivers incurred stemming back to at least 2005, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District in Nashville, TN.

In mid-April, Pilot Flying J and its corporate headquarters were raided by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service after a criminal investigation was launched into the company’s fuel rebate and discount program. Several civil lawsuits have since been filed, claiming Pilot sales staff targeted trucking companies it considered “too unsophisticated to catch (on).”

Two Pilot Flying J employees recently pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges, admitting they participated in a scheme to reduce the rebate amounts the trucking companies were supposed to receive.

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