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Haslam says Pilot Flying J will cooperate with FBI in statement

Jimmy Haslam AP

While it’s still unclear exactly what FBI and IRS officials are looking into at the Knoxville, Tennessee based Pilot Flying J company run by Jimmy Haslam, the Cleveland Browns owner says he is willing to cooperate with their efforts.

“The FBI secured our headquarters today and informed us they are investigating Pilot Flying J,” Haslam said in an email statement to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “We will cooperate appropriately with any and all external investigations and conduct our own. I believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing. The integrity of our company always has been job No. 1.”

With the government agencies locking down the company’s headquarters, it’s reasonable to assume they’ve been looking into the business for some time. What they’ll find and the impact it could have on the Browns owner is still yet to be determined.

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40 Responses to “Haslam says Pilot Flying J will cooperate with FBI in statement”
  1. haydenpryor says: Apr 15, 2013 11:17 PM

    They found Andre Rison locked in the basement

  2. Slim Charles says: Apr 15, 2013 11:19 PM

    I wonder if Goodell will suspend Haslam while the investigation is ongoing. After all, gotta “protect the shield.”

  3. phuriousjorge says: Apr 15, 2013 11:19 PM

    As if the Browns don’t have enough problems.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 15, 2013 11:31 PM

    Jimmy thought of holding out, but then he remembered Waco.

  5. mrhammerhands says: Apr 15, 2013 11:32 PM

    Wouldn’t it be great if the IRS seized the Browns and kept them so every American can own a tiny piece of an NFL team, except it’s the Browns!! No thanks

  6. robkiss1234567890 says: Apr 15, 2013 11:35 PM

    Cleveland catches a lot of breaks though

  7. davikes says: Apr 15, 2013 11:38 PM

    “The FBI secured our headquarters today…” It almost sounds like the FBI was doing them a favor. Bad news for the Browns. The IRS can do a lot of digging without involving the FBI. With the FBI there, Jimmy better lawyer up, because they are coming after him.

  8. pajoe says: Apr 15, 2013 11:44 PM

    The clouds that are always over the factory of sadness blew south to Tennessee.

  9. dbones750 says: Apr 15, 2013 11:53 PM

    If the browns win, I still don’t think this is just going away.

  10. footballisfun says: Apr 15, 2013 11:58 PM

    He and his brother – the governor of Tennessee – are both Republicans. That means they are moral and family values people. Therefore, I’m sure there is no way he could be mixed up in dubious and unethical activities.

    Just like Jim and Tammy Baker…

  11. dawgswillhunt says: Apr 15, 2013 11:59 PM

    If he will cheat the IRS, then he will probably cheat to win in the NFL. That bodes well for us Browns fans. If there is one thing that Bill Belichek and the New England Patriots have taught us, it’s that cheaters win Super Bowls.

    Super Bowl baby! Go Browns!!

  12. Phintastic says: Apr 16, 2013 12:01 AM

    Oh, man! That can’t be good…

  13. kingfish2013 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:02 AM

    Wasn’t that crazy about the new gm anyway if this new owner doesn’t work out.like the coaching staff that was set up so far.another chapter from the factory of sadness.

  14. 4512dawg4512 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:06 AM

    Couldn’t they have waited till after the draft? Come on!

  15. melkipershero says: Apr 16, 2013 12:06 AM

    The smart money would be on some kind of tax charges if the IRS is involved.

  16. swagger52 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:11 AM

    With the #32 pick, Super Bowl Champion Ravens select everything that was good in Cleveland to take.

    With the #6 pick, the Cleveland Browns select the Flying J – because nobody left in Cleveland gives a Flying Juck.

  17. swagger52 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:12 AM

    Baltimore has the Hall of Famers, so we are coming for the Rock and Roll Hall of fame as well. You better hide it under your bed, because we could give a Flying J what you think.

  18. Iknoweverything says: Apr 16, 2013 12:12 AM

    What do you expect with anyone associated with the Browns.

    Cleveland should never have gotten a team back after Mr. Modell understandably fled the cesspool. Now the league has a chance to right a wrong and just take away the worst franchise that continues to embarrass the league……………..and themselves.

    The Browns fans should even be ashamed of themselves for still being fans. But then again, they probably don’t even know how to spell their own names

  19. eaglesfan290 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:27 AM

    Wow Browns fans can’t catch a break!

    No one just shows up and closes an entire Headquarters without a reason.

    Now I wonder if the league has a policy for suspending owners in legal trouble?

  20. agelardi says: Apr 16, 2013 12:27 AM

    Hope to see this on Road Tested.

  21. mazblast says: Apr 16, 2013 12:39 AM

    My theory, based on the timing of events only–

    Haslam wasn’t involved in day-to-day operations for a while. He got wind of something going on, but not the specifics. He re-engaged, took over operations again, and has been trying to sort out the situation. He hadn’t established all the facts before the FBI, IRS, et al showed up.

    The fact that the IRS is involved leads me to believe that someone has been playing games with either payroll taxes and reporting, or fuel taxes. I suspect the issue is with the latter, as that is where the really big bucks are in Pilot Flying J’s business.

    Is this something big? No doubt. Is it something that involves the higher executive level(s)? No idea. Does it involve Haslam personally? I doubt it,

    As to the question of “why is the FBI involved?”, that’s easy. Few businesses are more “interstate commerce” than this one, PLUS there may be a desire to keep state authorities out of the loop.

  22. green41563 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:48 AM

    Oh, so you’re gonna cooperate with the FBI, huh?

  23. theclaim says: Apr 16, 2013 12:53 AM

    L.A. Browns? London Browns? as aan NFL fan I hope it DOESNT mean a move for the team. i was angry when the Browns were moved by Modell the first time. Cleveland Browns and the Dawg Pound needs to STAY in Cleveland

  24. murraysons says: Apr 16, 2013 1:07 AM

    it better be related to Boston otherwise a waste of resources

  25. zn0rseman says: Apr 16, 2013 1:07 AM

    Obama has been aggressively going after the opposition since reelection, using government entities like the IRS and FBI to execute politically motivated witch hunts all over the country.

    And the media remains silent on the matter. Welcome to your socalist dictatorship America.

  26. UPYRS says: Apr 16, 2013 1:23 AM

    Same old sad sack Browns meh who cares

  27. jiveturkeygobbler says: Apr 16, 2013 1:31 AM

    I believe the NFL ensured the Browns will remain in Cleveland for at least 30 years from the time of their new expansion team reinstatement.

    I think Haslam is the man. I seriously doubt he is in any kind of trouble.

  28. coachbeck says: Apr 16, 2013 1:46 AM

    I wish they would move the Browns again. Lol. As a Bengals fan that would be epic. Then we can watch them grovel for the name of the Bengals owner again. Oh and the Colora lol. That’s what made me laugh the last time. London Browns would be ok, I travel to London so I could see my Bengals every year. Lol

  29. commonsensedude says: Apr 16, 2013 3:37 AM

    Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks. They could be investigating claims that Flying J is selling footlong Subway subs that are only 11″ long.

  30. seldom1 says: Apr 16, 2013 4:25 AM

    I knew nothing good would come from an x-Steelers owner.

  31. seattlenative57 says: Apr 16, 2013 4:45 AM

    He’ll cooperate in any external investigations and conduct their own? WTF does he think he’s up against? It’s the FBI, man. You won’t be doin’ no ‘ vestigating til they say you can investigate. That was the dumbest statement I’ve read by someone under the thumb of the FBI.

  32. washstnative says: Apr 16, 2013 6:36 AM

    Maybe Hard Knocks will film their upcoming season entirely from the Cleveland front office ending in Federal District Court? Could be a new Law and Order franchise.

  33. brownsclown says: Apr 16, 2013 7:00 AM

    Most Browns fans think that hiring Mike Lombardturd as the GM was a crime; maybe the Feds agree!

  34. exboomer says: Apr 16, 2013 7:54 AM

    Obama doesn’t like rich people so he sent the IRS and FBI after this company.

  35. pascalswager42 says: Apr 16, 2013 8:19 AM

    Mazblast has it close.

    Why else would Haslam do an about-face to rejoin the company as CEO after hand-picking his successor and leaving with some pomp and circumstance?

    Jimmy went back to either clean up his own or someone else’s mess, knowing it would become public soon enough and he should be the one to face the music.

    For the conspiracy theorists, perhaps he orchestrated all of the above knowing this was going on so he could look like the hero…

    Not knowing the fella, here’s hoping its the former and it gets cleaned up.

    Go Browns.

  36. scratchdad says: Apr 16, 2013 8:45 AM

    That’s the fastest audit in US history!

  37. petedutcher says: Apr 16, 2013 8:48 AM

    Hsappened the same day as the Boston thing…a connection there would be horrible for the NFL.

  38. tundey says: Apr 16, 2013 9:13 AM

    Who says “We will cooperate appropriately…”. Everybody says “We will cooperate fully with the FBI….”.

  39. tdravens says: Apr 16, 2013 10:20 AM

    Breaking: FBI and IRS agents contract staph infections.

  40. wastheredidthat says: Apr 16, 2013 12:21 PM

    If all is well maybe he should sell the Browns and buy the Bungles. If he does let’s hope he will change those GOD awful looking uniforms. The team is named for a pair of white tigers at the zoo and the uniforms were chosen by Stevie Wonder.

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