Two Pilot employees plead guilty in fuel rebate fraud case

| May 29, 2013

pilot flying jTwo Pilot Flying J employees have pled guilty to mail fraud charges involving federal allegations against the company that it defrauded trucking companies out of millions of dollars in a systematic fuel rebate withholding scheme, according to a report from the Knoxville Business Journal.

The accusations surfaced April 18 when a federal affidavit was unsealed. The FBI raided Pilot’s Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters on April 15, seizing paper and electronic files and documents. The allegations stem from what Pilot called manual rebate calculations for a certain segment of its customers. The affidavit alleges that Pilot salespeople would intentionally withhold portions of rebate money owed to trucking companies to increase their commissions and the company’s profit.

Arnold Ralenkotter, a sales director for Pilot, pleaded guilty today to one count of mail fraud, according to the report from Knoxville, and Pilot employee Ashley Judd entered a plea of guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Pilot Flying J released this statement regarding the pleas:

“The statements released by the federal court today do not come as a surprise given what we’ve been learning in our own internal investigations, but are nonetheless disappointing. We want to assure our customers that we are taking every step to correct any wrongdoing that has occurred and to make certain that it does not happen again.”

Click here to see the report.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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  • Time Will Tell

    One thing about it: Those two employees were not the only ones involved in this major theft! These two are merely the fall guys for now.

    I imagine there may be a couple more they say were involved.

    However this was a major crime ring that should be prosecuted under RICO Laws. This was organized crimes by any definition.

    Now let’s see if the prosecution gives what is fair to ALL that were involved.

  • Ted


  • robin hood

    anyone who trades with these crooks have to be insane. a perfect example of the rich try to get richer and the hard working trucker gets screwed again.

  • Doug Spurger

    my guess is that the families of those two will be living quite well for a long time.. it costs a lot to buy another man.

  • lawdog2062

    for sure

  • Time Will Tell

    Hey Doug, you are right!

    No one in their right mind would turn themselves up for such a massive crime, unless they were taken care of.

  • Driver

    Here we are again going after the small fry employee with the large firm and charging them with the crime, instead of the ones who instructed them to carry out the fraud, the higher postioned person. Such as the CEO, vise president, or president. It really doesnt matter it all filters down to the truck driver who pays in the end. We are the ones in this industry who continually get screwed. There is not one single trucking company out there who is not looking for a way to screw the drivers it has working for them. They use this bull__t term Lease Purchase as a method to really stick it to the driver by filling him with the hopes of owning his own truck. Which most of them want to have you lease a truck with 400 thousand or more miles on it, trucks that will burn fuel like water, which will keep the driver from actually being able to make good money. Or they will lease you a newer truck but want weekly payments of 1400 or better which is also a means of keeping the driver from making good money, and in both cases will cause the driver to turn the truck back into them and get out of the lease. Where they will turn around a lease that same truck to another driver for the same payments and so on and so on. I think we as truck drivers ought to show this dam country just who is in charge of moving the freight that everyone so depends on. We should pick a day this year as pose a sit out, where we just stop and do not deliver one dam load. It would create some havac but better if we could push it to three days. We could effect the whole world economy. And then we might start getting the respect we deserve instead of being used and abused.

  • Kevin Osborn

    The two didnt even talk about their bosses. I dont believe they they are the only ones involved in this huge crime. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.