Trucking Company Accuses Pilot Flying J CEO of Obstructing Justice

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Trucking Company Accuses Pilot Flying J CEO of Obstructing Justice


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Pilot Flying J is facing one more allegation -- obstruction of justice.

Atlantic Coast Carriers (ACC), based in Hazelhurst, Ga., filed a motion for a restraining order Thursday, alleging that Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam is obstructing justice and buying off customers who were cheated in the company's reported rebate fraud, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

As CSNews Online reported on Monday, Haslam outlined steps the company is taking in the wake of an April 15 raid by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service. He noted he would be meeting with some customers who had noticed discrepancies in their rebate checks.

ACC attorneys Drew McElroy and Mark Tate claim Haslam's efforts to "do the right thing" have included asking customers to sign releases giving up their rights to sue.

"At issue in this case is the danger that ... defendants are inducing potential class members to waive important rights before they obtain proper legal advice or know the full extent of any damages they have," the attorneys wrote. "The amounts defendants are now offering potential class members may be well below the full amount of their claims. ... Defendants should not now be permitted to influence witnesses and pay what they should have paid years ago in an attempt to undermine the class-action process."

Knox County Circuit Judge Harold Wimberly could rule on the motion next week. Pilot Flying J lawyers weren't immediately available for comment on the motion but have denied the company did anything wrong, according to the local newspaper.

ACC was the first trucking company to file a lawsuit against Pilot Flying J over alleged changes to its rebate program. The trucking company has also asked a local court for class-action status. If the status is approved, more companies could join the suit, as CSNews Online previously reported.