UPDATED -- A high-ranking official with the truckstop chain Pilot Flying J is reportedly no longer with the company, some 13 months after it was raided by federal agents.
Company President Mark Hazelwood is gone, “effective immediately,” according to an email obtained by the Knoxville Metro Pulse newspaper and posted to its Twitter feed. It was reportedly sent to company employees by Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam.
Just in: Mark Hazelwood is no longer employed by Pilot Flying J. Here's the email CEO Jimmy Haslam sent out to staff: pic.twitter.com/0FQ4oYqfkj
— Metro Pulse (@metropulse) May 19, 2014
Officials with Pilot Flying J have not publicly offered a reason for the departure. WATE-TV in Knoxville, where the company is based, attempted to get comment, but was told Pilot Flying J does not comment on personnel matters.
In addition, another employee, Scott Wombold, has left the company, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Wombold served as the vice president of national accounts and was supervised by Hazelwood. No reason has been given for his departure either.
On April 15, 2013, agents with the FBI and IRS raided Pilot Flying J as part of a criminal investigation into allegations the company purposely withheld rebates from fuel purchases by trucking company customers in order the inflate the truckstop operator’s profits. According to the FBI, the affidavit used to secure the search warrant had transcripts of secretly recorded conversations indicating Hazelwood and other top Pilot Flying J executives knew of the alleged scheme.
Since that time at least 10 current or former Pilot Flying J employees have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the investigation but not have been sentenced.
Pilot Flying J and CEO Jimmy Haslam have denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of such an alleged scheme, despite settling a class action lawsuit late last year worth nearly $85 million, while it continues to face lawsuits by those who elected not to take part in the settlement.
Update adds Scott Wombold information.