Pilot Flying J fuel rebate scam case update: Guilty verdicts remain overturned

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Denied. That’s what the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals told federal prosecutors who wanted to see overturned guilty verdicts against three former Pilot executives undone.

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.

A federal court overturned the guilty verdicts against the executives late last year, including that of former Pilot Flying J president Mark Hazelwood.

Hazelwood was convicted of fraud while the other former executives were convicted in connection to the fuel rebate scandal.

A key element of that trial were audio recordings that documented Hazelwood using racist language. At the time, the defense had pushed back, hoping to keep them out of court.

The government had argued that judges misunderstood the purpose of the recordings in the case when they overturned the convictions in October and the decision creates problems for trying cases in the future.

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