Ex-Pilot employees plead guilty to fraud in alleged rebate scam

3 ex-Pilot employees plead guilty to fraud in alleged rebate scam

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Three one-time Pilot Flying J employees pleaded guilty to fraud charges in federal court Monday.

This brings the total to 10 employees who have entered guilty pleas in the alleged fuel rebate scam.

Brian Mosher admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud before a federal judge Monday afternoon.

Christopher Andrews and Lexie Holden each admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

According to a federal affidavit, Mosher worked as the Director of Sales for National Accounts and worked remotely while living in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Andrews is listed as a Regional Sales Manager who worked remotely and lives in Dallas, Texas.

Holden is listed as a Regional Account Representative and worked at the Pilot Headquarters in Knoxville. The affidavit said that Holden supports Mosher and Andrew Schimmel, a National Account Sales Manager.

Plea agreements stated that insider regional account representatives in Knoxville would send Mosher and Andrews spreadsheets by email that identified the actual rebate amounts trucking customers should have received.

According the court documents, each defendant would then revise the spreadsheet with estimated lower rebate amounts and email it back. The account representative would then alter the estimated rebate amounts to make them seem more legitimate.

Andrews' plea agreement indicated that most of his accounts with Pilot customers were inherited from other personnel and he was instructed to continue deceptive practices that the others had begun.

A plea agreement for Holden says she was responsible for, among other things, preparing and emailing the spreadsheets from her office in Knoxville and causing the deceptively reduced rebate amounts to be sent to the customers.

Mosher could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Andrews and Holden could each face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Janet Welch, a Senior Account Manager, and Michael Scott Fenwick, the Western Regional Sales Manager, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in July.

Kevin Wallace Clark, a Regional Sales Manager based in Missouri, James Stinnett, a Regional Sales Manager, and Holly Radford, a Regional Account Representative, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in June.

Arnold Lee Ralenkotter, the Northeast Regional Sales Manager, and Ashley Smith Judd, a Regional Account Representative, were the first two employees to plead guilty in May.

Pilot Flying J was raided by the FBI on April 15, 2013 after a whistleblower tipped federal agents off that the company had been cheating regular diesel fuel customers by deliberately reducing rebate amounts owed to them.

6 News Reporter SAMANTHA MANNING contributed to this report.


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