Pilot Flying J owner and CEO Jimmy Haslam made a brief statement to the media Friday, April 19, in Knoxville, Tenn., in which he said that the focus of the ongoing investigation by the FBI and the IRS into the alleged millions of dollars defrauded from carriers in the previous decade in a rebate withholding scheme focuses on “a very narrow band of a very large company.”
Haslam did not take any questions after his statement.
An unsealed affidavit used by a federal court to grant a search warrant to federal agents became public Thursday, April 18, and alleges that Pilot Flying J salespeople have in recent years withheld millions of dollars in rebates from certain carrier customers to increase their sales commissions and the company’s profits.
“The affidavits didn’t present a very flattering picture of our company,” Haslam said in his statement, adding that they “were not representative of what our company is all about, but taken on the whole, they were consistent with our previous impression of the federal government’s investigation.”
Haslam maintained Thursday that he believes there’s been no wrongdoing at the company. He also apologized to “team members, our customers, our suppliers, vendors and our friends” who “have to go through this with us,” he said in the press conference Friday. “It’s important to remember that probably 99 percent of our people aren’t even in the scope of this inquiry.”
He also said that Pilot Flying J’s 650 truck stops and travel plazas remain open and operational and are focused on providing service to truck drivers.