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.