Pilot Flying J investigation hits one year mark

Pilot Flying J investigation hits one year mark

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Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam. Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam.
"They probably collected so much documentation that they have to review that documentation to make sure that they have probably cause for each defendant that they want to indict," Reid said. "They probably collected so much documentation that they have to review that documentation to make sure that they have probably cause for each defendant that they want to indict," Reid said.
Tuesday marks one year since the FBI raid of the Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville. Tuesday marks one year since the FBI raid of the Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tuesday marks one year since the FBI raid of the Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville.

The last year for the diesel giant has led to dozens of lawsuits, a class action settlement and multiple guilty pleas.

Dozens of lawsuits were filed by trucking companies across the country.

In November, a federal judge in Arkansas approved a class action settlement between Pilot Flying J and roughly 6,000 trucking companies.

Under the deal, customers will get back all of the money they are owed plus six percent interest.

On the criminal side, ten former employees have pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the case and they have agreed to offer full cooperation with the prosecution.

"They're going to have to review the statements of the cooperators and the cooperators had to have had firsthand conversations with each employee then they're going to have to review all the emails, all the in-house documents," LMU Assistant Law Professor Melanie Reid said.

Reid said investigators have five years from the last time they can prove an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy happened to file charges.

Reid said it's likely investigators are working on reviewing the evidence.

"They probably collected so much documentation that they have to review that documentation to make sure that they have probably cause for each defendant that they want to indict," Reid said.

In a statement, Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said: "April 15, 2013, was an extremely embarrassing and humbling day for Pilot Flying J.  Since then, we have pledged to make things right with our customers. We have worked diligently with our customers to do just that. We have repaid virtually every customer with interest. We have put the proper systems and controls in place to ensure that this type of behavior does not happen again. A special committee of our Board retained nationally respected, independent counsel to conduct a thorough investigation of the facts underlying any failure to put customers' interests first. We also have reduced virtually every customer contract to writing and have and will continue to deal with any individual whose actions were inappropriate."

"Pilot Flying J is a company that always has prided itself on doing the right thing and taking care of our customers. We understand that we have a long way to go in terms of regaining our customers' trust and confidence and will continue to work hard every day to do so. We appreciate the incredible resolve that our 22,000 team members have shown this past year, and we also have deep gratitude for the support we have received from our suppliers, as well as from our customers, friends, and communities within which we operate. We firmly believe that as difficult as this process has been, Pilot Flying J will emerge a stronger and better company."

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