By Nate Ulrich
Beacon Journal sports writer
Wright Transportation, a trucking company based in Mobile, Ala., filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday in federal court against Pilot Flying J, the family business of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
The 37-page complaint, according to the Tennessean newspaper, accuses Haslam, Pilot Flying J’s CEO, and other top executives of violating federal racketeering laws, state deceptive trade practices laws “and common laws of unjust enrichment.”
The FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided Pilot Flying J’s headquarters April 15 in Knoxville, Tenn., as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations that the company cheated trucking customers out of millions of dollars of diesel fuel rebates. So far, five Pilot Flying J employees have pleaded guilty to fraud.
Haslam has repeatedly denied any prior knowledge of the scheme. The lawsuit filed by Wright Transportation charges that Haslam gave his “blessing” to the fraud, the Tennessean reported.
Supplemental draft a bust
The Browns made headlines a year ago by selecting wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of the NFL’s supplemental draft, but there was no sequel to the drama this time around.
As expected, no players were selected in this year’s supplemental draft, the league announced Thursday afternoon.
The supplemental draft began at 1 p.m. Thursday. By 1:21 p.m., league spokesman Randall Liu announced via Twitter that it had concluded without a selection being made.
At least one player had been selected in the supplemental draft the past four years. Gordon was the only one picked last year, marking the first time the Browns used the supplemental draft since 1985, when they nabbed quarterback Bernie Kosar.
The six players eligible for this year’s supplemental draft — UNLV defensive end James Boyd, UNLV defensive tackle Nate Holloway, Central Florida defensive end Toby Jackson, Houston wide receiver DeWayne Peace, Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross and South Alabama defensive back Damond Smith — are now classified as free agents and free to sign with any team.