Fuel Smarts

Pilot Flying J Sacks Sales Executive in Wake of Probe

May 30, 2014

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The departures continue to add up at the embattled truckstop chain Pilot Flying J, with the latest involving a key sales figure, according to published reports.

Vice President of National Sales John Freeman was fired earlier this month. This happened after he had been placed on administrative leave, following the disclosure by federal officials a little more than a year ago of a probe into an alleged scheme that involved withholding rebates from fuel purchases to trucking customers.

He is one of several top executives who were terminated by the company or departed on their own earlier this month, including President Mark Hazelwood.

Freeman is one of the figures who were quoted in transcripts of secret recordings used by the FBI to secure search warrants of Pilot Flying J property before it conducted raids on the chain's Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters and other offices in April 2013.

Both Pilot Flying J and CEO Jimmy Haslam have denied any wrongdoing or knowledge about the alleged scandal, but the company last year settled a federal class action lawsuit brought by customers. It still faces litigation from those who opted out of that settlement.

Ten former Pilot Flying J employees have already pleaded guilty to charges, but none have been sentenced. Their next court appearance is reportedly set for August.

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