Fuel Smarts

Former Pilot Flying J Execs Take Plea Bargain in Fuel Skimming Scandal

July 25, 2017

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Pilot Flying J paid $85 million to settle with customers affected by a fuel rebate scandal and an additional $92 million in fines. Photo: TruckingInfo.com
Pilot Flying J paid $85 million to settle with customers affected by a fuel rebate scandal and an additional $92 million in fines. Photo: TruckingInfo.com

In a case dating from 2012, four former Pilot Flying J executives accused of skimming money in a diesel fuel rebate scam have struck a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.

According to The Washington Post , vice president of sales for the company, John Freeman, who authorities say was the mastermind of the scheme, former regional sales manager John Spiewak, former direct sales group supervisor Vicki Borden, and former sales representative Katy Bibee have all agreed to the plea bargain.

A federal investigation into the fuel scam led to criminal charges against executives at the company, resulting in an $85 million settlement with some of the defrauded customers as well as a $92 million penalty to the government. Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam claims to have had no knowledge of the scheme.

In statement, the company said it was “sadden” by the admission of wrongdoing and noted it has taken steps to “make whole every customer negatively affected” by the scandal and taken steps to make sure such activity never happens again.

The company also said that "It is Pilot Flying J’s commitment to be a great partner to trucking companies across North America, always focusing our undivided attention on the best interests of our customers, team members and business.”

Trial is set in Federal court in Chattanooga, TN, for the remaining Pilot Flying J executives indicted in the scandal, including former Pilot president Mark Hazelwood, former vice president Scott “Scooter” Wombold, and two other former members of the sales team, Heather Jones and Karen Mann, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Related: Date and Location Set for Pilot Fuel Rebate Fraud Trial


  1. 1. Paul [ July 26, 2017 @ 03:40AM ]

    3 Questions:
    1. Why is it now 2017 & this 2012 debacle still is an open case? Why does it take this long to deal with the obvious?

    2. Why does the government get to reap a 92 million dollar fine? How & why is this figure even drummed up?

    3. Why are there "plea bargains" on a case that is this rock solid? Why not drop the hammer on all involved?

  2. 2. ScooterAddict [ July 26, 2017 @ 10:46AM ]

    So the settlement is for $85mil and the fine is $92mil paid to federal gov't?? Even though it was the consumer who got ripped off, the Govt gets more than the consumer. Now, if you were a contractor leased to a carrier and paid for your own fuel, who gets part of the $85mil?? I used to use a calculator to figure up my discounts on my settlement statements. I was shorted $.01 a gallon randomly on different purchases. I talked to the fuel dept at our company and he said it was just $.01 and we were already getting a big discount. After pressing him, he said the carrier would reimburse me. After arguing for about 10min I told him I wanted a check from Pilot. It took awhile but I finally got a check for about $1.50.. This is just the one I caught. Prior to the ripoff I didn't check my fuel prices that close. I just happened to check that one time, after that I checked religiously. For the Govt $92mil did they actually research which actual consumer is due a check and not just the carrier? The "Little Guy" gets boned again!


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