Rebate Check Triggers New Pilot Flying J Lawsuit
KNOXVILLE, TENN. -- Pilot Flying J is now facing at least 18 lawsuits in connection with allegations of fraud, including one that was filed after a Minnesota-based trucking company received a reimbursement check.
R&R Transportation, based in Audubon, Minn., received a letter from Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J dated July 1 in which the truck stop operator said it had found a "potential discrepancy" in the accounts of R&R, which purchased about 140,000 gallons of fuel from Pilot each month, Cleveland.com reported.
Included in the letter was a check to cover the fuel rebate shortages, according to R&R, which did not disclose the amount. The trucking company sued Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Pilot Flying J.; Pilot Corp., parent company Pilot Travel Centers; CEO Jimmy Haslam and four top sales executives are named as defendants in the suit.
R&R Transportation cites fraud and racketeering claims in its lawsuit, and seeks to get its complaint certified as a class action that would cover other trucking firms, according to the news report.
In another legal action on Wednesday, Townes Trucking, based in Coffeeville, Miss., sued in federal court in the Southern District of Louisiana, also claiming it was defrauded by Pilot Flying J.
The lawsuits stem from an April 15 raid by federal officials on Pilot Flying J's headquarters over allegations of fraud in the company's fuel rebate program.
Five employees have already pled guilty in connection with the investigation. One employee, Jay Stinnett, who served as a senior sales director, is cooperating with officials and has pointed the finger at senior members of the company's management team, stating that they were aware of the fraud. However, Haslam has repeatedly denied any involvement in the rebate fraud, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Pilot Flying J operates more than 650 retail locations and is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America.