Pilot Flying J fuel rebate scam case update: Hazelwood, others get a new trial date

Crime and Courts

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A retrial date has been set for three former Pilot Company executives related to the fuel rebate scam case.

The former executives had been convicted in the Pilot Flying J fuel rebate scam case and all later had their guilty verdicts overturned — now, they have been remanded for a new trial.

The decision is the latest turn in the fuel rebate scandal involving Knoxville-based Pilot Company, formerly known as Pilot Flying J, that has been ongoing for several years; beginning in 2013, with raids on the company headquarters.

Former Pilot Flying J executives Mark Hazelwood, Scott Wombold and Heather Jones will be back in court for a retrial early next year. Federal court documents stated the retrial date is set for Feb. 1, 2022, in the Chattanooga Division of the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee.

Last year, a federal court overturned the guilty verdicts against the three former Pilot Flying J executives — saying the recording of Hazelwood using racist language played during a former trial should not have been allowed at the trial.

At the time when the fuel rebate scam came to a head, Hazelwood was Pilot’s president and head of the direct-sales division; Wombold was Pilot’s vice-president of national accounts and manager of direct-sales division; and Jones was a regional account representative on the direct-sales team.

Pilot Flyinhg J was accused of cheating trucking firms out of discounts on large fuel buys. Pilot agreed to settlement fines and penalty payouts of nearly $200 million.

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