Pilot Flying J investigation centers on rebate program, PFJ sends note to drivers

| April 16, 2013

pilot

Pilot Flying J says the investigation and lockdown of its headquarters apparently “revolve around the application of rebates to a small group of Piilot Flying J trucking company customers,” according to a statement released by the company’s public relations agency Moxley Carmichael. Moreover, the agency says subpoenas were served, but no other information could be released.

Pilot also released this afternoon a memo addressed directly to truck drivers, saying its main focus is still “taking care of customers.”

“We appreciate your service to our country, your hard work and the many hours you spend on the road,” says the company’s note. “Our commitment to you is to continue to provide you the same products and services you’ve always expected from Pilot Flying J.” Click here to read the letter in its entirety.

Earlier reports from Knoxville, Tenn. — following Monday’s reports that Pilot Flying J headquarters in West Knoxville had been locked down by the FBI — say that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service is involved in the lockdown as part of an “ongoing investigation,” according to a report from Knoxvillebiz.com.

The site also reported that dozens of agents from the FBI and the IRS entered Pilot’s headquarters and ordered all employees to turn off their computers, cell phones and other electronics, and employees not essential to day-to-day operations were asked to leave Pilot premises.

Cleveland.com reported Monday evening that Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam — majority owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam — issued a statement saying that he trusts “there has been no wrongdoing” and the “integrity of [Pilot Flying J] always has been job No. 1.”

Haslam returned to Pilot Flying J in February after short stint away tending full time to the Cleveland Browns, which he bought in August.

More information will be published as it becomes available.

  • Pingback: FBI, IRS lock down Pilot Flying J headquarters | Commercial Carrier Journal

  • Dan Roe

    A company that grows like this is sure to become a target. I’m sure it is going to be a pain even if there is nothing wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    More criminal activity in TRUCKING??? They are all crooks.

  • Simpleman

    They all are ripping us off on the cost of fuel as many other ways as well., I hope the truth is brought out and the problem fixed. Starting with fuel prices. Diesel is a by product of gas and should cost less than gas .. I”ll stop there before I get started.

  • Ruby Red

    We always have a fine comment about anything
    just change to another station or keep listening to the same tune is always something more “criminal” give a brake .

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.mcbride.75 Jeff Mcbride

    Here in sav ga pilot is oneof the highest fuel stps around.and that sucks

  • tim

    yes!!!!!! finally looking into the real thieves in trucking

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.mckelvie William McKelvie

    Yeah take care of the customers, yeah …….. how much is a shower at Pilot now? Of course they will say whatever they will to make themselves look better, the general trucking public and general public probably will never know what really is going on, they will strike a deal with the IRS and feds, and we will never know the real truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.nichols.75 Dave Nichols

    not a byproduct, and the high cost is due to gov sulpher regs

  • http://twitter.com/cwb_in_tn_81 michael winton

    I think this translates into ” kickbacks to big companies who buy the most fuel”.

    Which is HIGHLY ILLEGAL in the usa. LOL.

    Uh ohhhhhh….. Governor Haslam’s got poo poo on his shoe! HAHHAHAHAHAHA!

    That’s watcha get for giving all these big companies ENORMOUS breaks on fuel costs because they buy so much at a time!

    I smell freight rates a rising!

  • Lee

    Its like this at my local store. If you go to car island to get diesel,, it is cheaper than going to the back truck pumps. And you pay the same way.

  • mousekiller

    Auto diesel does not have the taxes on it, fuel tax, the state and local, county taxes . Proof that cars do not pay anywhere equal taxes for the use of our roads.

  • mousekiller

    It is a by product. Taking out the sulphur cost more then adding the additive to off set the absence of sulfur costs so that is one reason for the increase costs.. Rob Peter to pay Paul then screw the users. It is government intervention at its finest. Then Homeland security, but lets not go there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.scovell Tony Scovell

    kinda a harsh way to do a investigation.kinda overkill .they wernt that harsh with bill clinton or nixon.my god,what would happen if they were giving away free food .would the irs freak out on that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.scovell Tony Scovell

    well you know the old saying if ya dont like the meat dont buy it.find a new butcher

  • Guest

    Great point @eeabe0366172f58c68c5b8dc69685fd6:disqus -From a Supply & Demand perspective–there is more demand for gas than for diesel (more cars operating on gas vs diesel). There are more cars operating on roads than 18 wheelers. So how in heck could diesel be more expensive? Seems like the IRS wasn’t investigating this one, and our elected state representatives and officials don’t care. All everyone cares about is that O/O deliver their goods for .86 cpm head-haul and .50 – 70 cpm back-haul (rates from 10 years ago have not change but the cost of fuel rising exponentially)

  • USMC 69-75

    Yes they do mouse, they just don’t get the additional charge for using credit or debit cards like we do!

  • USMC 69-75

    Don’t Haul “Cheap Freight” simple as that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.mckelvie William McKelvie

    I see comments about HIGH COSTS, blaming it on this or that? Try TAXES people, try GREED, wake up. Thank you. NC this year alone regular gas JUMPED, so did other states. Why? Fuel taxes increased. NOW, if you have been paying attention, you have seen multiple states desiring to join in with other states in raising, FUEL TAXES. A very large portion of what you pay as a consumer or truck owner or company fleet owner at the pump is TAX based.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.baxter.5 John M. Baxter

    Complain about low sulfur diesel if you want, but your engine will last a hell of a lot longer, and your net cost of operation will drop. Should have been done years ago.

  • Frank

    What it sounds like there looking at is who is getting the rebates and if the individual driver is claiming receipt price or actual discount on settlements. As an o/o we must be diligent to take the deduction of what we actually paid. Be careful big brothers always watching.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelstruckin michael bechara

    i say lets all take a day or two off and let them know we are sick of being robbed fuel cost more than labor it’s time we shut them down and tell them we are sick of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.koller.5074 Thomas Koller

    The demise of Flying J was damaging to independent OO’s like myself. The old J was the only national truckstop where a driver could count on a discount price for fuel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Ebnit/1767472319 Patrick Ebnit

    You could also say gas is a by product of diesel production. If they sell diesel at or below cost they would have to make up the lost profit on gas and the other products produced in the cracking process.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelstruckin michael bechara

    I’m just now reading the whole story and i can’t believe what the fbi and irs has done here . this is over rebates ! come on tell the truth. why would the fbi send armed police with m16 to a flying j head quarters like they are in danger by employees of a united states company this is sad the way our goverment is treating the american public . if anything this is a civil mater and doesn’t involve the fbi . or could this be a political matter ????? republician vs demecrats? make the republicians look bad? piolet flyin J employees 30,000 americians and provides us the truckers with clean showers and food and places to sleep at night and fuel to keep our trucks rolling they do the right thing for us in my eyes .yes i wish the fuel prices would go down but as long as the taxes keep that from happening we have to live with it . all i see here is the fbi irs is just wasting our tax dollars again .

  • http://www.facebook.com/vaughn.canter Vaughn Canter

    yes,the irs is afraid they r getting cheated out of tax money,they blow more money than a drunken sailor on shore leave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Ebnit/1767472319 Patrick Ebnit

    its not a by product If you want to get technical gas is the by product. When oil was first refined gasoline was a by product of kerosene production and considered to unstable for any practical use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Ebnit/1767472319 Patrick Ebnit

    All clear diesel is taxed at the same rate. You are right about the cars not paying as much as truck for road use though. Higher licensing fees and IFTA makes sure of that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vaughn.canter Vaughn Canter

    thats right washington lives like kings,while the rest of the public lives like paupers,thats why they r always wanting more taxes,so they can keep up their livestyle..

  • mousekiller

    Pat, your right. Poor choice of words. I should have said a Product of. not by product. I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

  • Clydesdale

    Gas prices are set by the federal government, anything above that is not much in order for them to compete with your business.

  • babette

    I wondered about calls we were getting from;
    (Brandon Fleming) Has anyone else been solicited with calls to your cell phone?
    (this is the sales pitch)

    (Brandon Fleming)
    Senior Account Executive
    Pilot – Flying J
    Phone: 865.474.3308
    E-Fax: 865.297.0682
    Brandon.Fleming@pilottravelcenters.com

    We at Pilot Flying J are revolutionizing the fuel industry right now including offering you a zero fee discount program specifically for you and your company that will:
    Reduce your fuel expenses
    Reduce your card fees
    Exclude any annual fees you may be paying currently
    Allow your drivers to fuel at Pilot and Flying J
    Include unlimited credit on our Direct Bill Program
    Expand your network)

  • babette

    Shower free with 50 gal. fuel purchase. I’m concerned that they were trying to get bank account info from customers to sign up for there fuel card program.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pete.miller.50 Pete Miller

    Recycled Garbage Electronics, Fuel is always the highest. Now you need 10 purchases for a free coffee. PFJ SUCKS!!!!!

  • Ripped OffDrivers

    Managers are a Rip Off.

  • Ripped OffDrivers

    Truckers get stolen from everywhere they go….this is TYPICAL of the Abuse.

  • Ripped OffDrivers

    Even the boss of Flying J…..plotting to ripoff the trucker…can you believe it???? EVERYONE..stealing from the trucker!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.koller.5074 Thomas Koller

    All right here is the reason diesel costs more than gasoline. It is true that refining diesel from crude is a little simpler process but the low sulfur requirements of today’s diesel has reduced the cost advantage. The main reason is diesel is an international commodity and demand is higher for diesel in places like China, India and almost all of So. America and American refineries are now shipping large quantities of refined diesel to these places for the simplest reason: it’s more profitable than selling it domestically. So when you fill your truck up you are paying the international commodity price for the fuel. Sad to note the more crude US and Canada produce the more it will be shipped out of the country in either form. All part of free enterprise.

  • cubi

    I had to sue these crocks to get $1000 back. The manager of Jackson, GA Flying J lied to the judge but I won the laswsuit and got my money back. It don’t suprise me they got sue again