Pilot Flying J CEO responds to guilty pleas and latest in invest

Pilot Flying J CEO responds to guilty pleas and latest in investigation

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Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam was in Knoxville Tuesday greeting truck drivers at the Lovell Road truck stop in honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation month. Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam was in Knoxville Tuesday greeting truck drivers at the Lovell Road truck stop in honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation month.
Jimmy Haslam told 6 News that customers don't question him about the federal investigation during those visits. Jimmy Haslam told 6 News that customers don't question him about the federal investigation during those visits.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said the company is thriving despite the looming investigation, saying the business has seen record sales per gallon this year.

"We're most appreciative of the confidence trucking companies have showed us, and we'll obviously continue to work hard and continue to earn their trust going forward," Haslam said.

Haslam was in Knoxville Tuesday greeting truck drivers at the Lovell Road truck stop in honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation month, though Haslam said he makes stops to the stores and truck stores every week all year long.

Haslam told 6 News that customers don't question him about the federal investigation during those visits.

"At first there was a lot of hullabaloo about it, particularly in Knoxville but really it's all calmed down," Haslam said. "It's never brought up. I never hear anything about it in the stores at all in the last several months."

Federal investigators believe members of the Pilot Flying J sales team knowingly and fraudulently reduced rebate amounts for trucking companies making diesel fuel purchases.

Seven Pilot Flying J employees have entered guilty pleas to fraud charges.

"Clearly some people that worked for Pilot Flying J, or I should say apparently, made bad decisions and I think I made it very clear that we're going to deal with that," Haslam said when asked about the guilty pleas.

Pilot Flying J agreed to a settlement with eight trucking companies and will pay back money owed 100 percent plus six percent interest.

There are also multiple other pending lawsuits against Pilot Flying J that have not joined the settlement.

Still, Haslam said the company is doing well and said those who have admitted guilt do not represent the company as a whole.

"We have 25,000 people and the vast majority of those people do the right thing every day and do a great job of taking care of customers and we'll remained focused on that," Haslam said.

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