Wednesday, January 16, 2019 Elyria 30°

Cops and Courts

Former Pilot exec: Haslam 'loved' trucking rip-off scheme


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A former truck stop company executive boasted in a secretly recorded conversation that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam “loved it” when the sales team ripped off customers.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the jury in the federal fraud trial of former Pilot Flying J executives and sales representatives heard a recording of former vice president John "Stick" Freeman saying Haslam was aware of the scheme to deprive trucking customers of the diesel discounts they had negotiated.

In Freeman's words: “He knew — absolutely.”

Pilot, which is controlled by the Haslam family, issued a statement reiterating that “Jimmy Haslam was not aware of any wrongdoing.”

Haslam hasn't been charged in the investigation that has resulted in 14 guilty pleas among former Pilot employees. Freeman and three others are on trial.

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