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Jimmy Haslam says Pilot Flying J being investigated by FBI, IRS over rebates to trucking companies

By staff and wire reports Published: April 16, 2013

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.: A truck stop company owned by the family of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says it is under criminal investigation after an FBI raid.

Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Flying J, said Tuesday during a news conference in Knoxville that the investigation appears to involve what he called a small number of trucking customers who were owed rebates that weren’t paid. Jimmy Haslam says the company disputes that.

Jimmy Haslam also said “it’s business as usual” for the Browns as they opened their voluntary minicamp Tuesday and continued to prepare for the NFL Draft, which runs April 25-27.

“I apologize because the last thing we ever want to do is put any kind of blemish on the city of Cleveland, which we’ve grown to love, or the Browns,” Jimmy Haslam said. “So I personally feel bad about that, even though I don’t think we’ve done anything wrong.”

Jimmy Haslam said he has communicated with Browns’ brass, including CEO Joe Banner, President Alec Scheiner, coach Rob Chudzinski and General Manager Mike Lombardi.

“We’ll be going up [to Cleveland] I believe Thursday and Friday just as planned to participate in draft preparation,” Jimmy Haslam said. “We’ll be up there almost all of next week.”

Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney in Knoxville, told The Associated Press that four search warrants have been served on Pilot Flying J. He said the reasons for the warrants are sealed.

FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents locked down the Pilot Flying J headquarters Monday and ordered employees out of the building as they conducted their search.

Jimmy Haslam said he has not been subpoenaed like several Pilot Flying J employees. He also said he believes there are no tax implications despite the presence of the IRS.

Here is a link to the story from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Here is a link to FAQ from Pilot Flying J on the investigation.

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