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Haslam says it will be “business as usual” for the Browns

Haslam AP

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Flying J, met with the media on Tuesday to address Monday’s surprising raid of company headquarters by the FBI and IRS.

Haslam said he “personally feel[s] bad” about the potential blemish this incident places on the Browns, and that it’s “business as usual” for the football team.

Haslam said that the investigation “appears to be centered on a very insignificant number of customers and the application of rebates.”  Haslam explained that the authorities apparently believe “rebates owed to customers were not paid,” and that “[w]e of course disagree with that.”

He said that, for example, if a trucking company bought 50,000 gallons of fuel, a certain rebate would be available.

Despite the presence of the IRS at the raid, Haslam said that he doesn’t believe the situation involves violation of state or federal tax laws.

Haslam also adroitly distanced himself from the problem, if a problem indeed exists.  “I’m not involved in that kind of detail in the business,” he said while prefacing a response to a reporter’s question.

The timeline provided by Haslam suggested that the authorities arrived before 2:00 p.m. ET and left after 11:00 p.m. ET.  He said that the company has begun an internal investigation into the incident.

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42 Responses to “Haslam says it will be “business as usual” for the Browns”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 16, 2013 2:47 PM

    Monkey business as usual…

  2. coonsqualler says: Apr 16, 2013 2:49 PM

    Business as usual is what us Browns fans are hoping that doesn’t happen this year!!!

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!

  3. rhamrhoddy says: Apr 16, 2013 2:50 PM

    Business as usual?

    D’oh!

  4. browns627 says: Apr 16, 2013 2:52 PM

    the freebies for nothing club is now screwing with our law enforcements… country needs to wake up! cant believe they waste time on this stuff especially after what happened in boston.. the working class has your back jimmy!

  5. stevent92 says: Apr 16, 2013 2:52 PM

    You mean as in 4 wins – 12 losses “business as usual?”

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 16, 2013 2:54 PM

    Hard to imagine he would have actually broken any laws considering integrity was always the company’s “job #1″. That would suck to be a customer of theirs if they fail so miserably at the first job. How would they be doing for the less important jobs such as your order?

  7. bigboysmash says: Apr 16, 2013 2:55 PM

    Business as usual and the brwons dont go together. Unless they want to miss the playoffs the next 10 years and have 10 differnt qb’s again

  8. niko0063 says: Apr 16, 2013 2:59 PM

    So the feds bust in Enron style over some rebates not being paid?

    I think a phone call would’ve sufficed

  9. officialgame says: Apr 16, 2013 2:59 PM

    What exactly does this scam company do that rebates are involved? I thought it was a private airlines not a grocery store.

  10. socalskinsfan says: Apr 16, 2013 3:00 PM

    PHRASING!!!

  11. brohamma says: Apr 16, 2013 3:04 PM

    This article was the header when I hit refresh. Nice hook!! You guys had me laughing before I’ve even read the article.. and I’m posting here before doing so.

    No wonder the stadium is known as the “Factory of Sadness.”

  12. citizenstrange says: Apr 16, 2013 3:09 PM

    The other owners sure slam dunked the approval for him to buy the Browns in a nanosecond.

    But what’s a little illegality between billionaire taxpayer money bilker buddies right?

  13. buckeyeluvn says: Apr 16, 2013 3:10 PM

    Truck Stops. Not airlines! smdh…some peoples kids!

  14. bigdawgy54 says: Apr 16, 2013 3:12 PM

    I sure hope Mr. Haslam is not involved in improprieties. That would not bode well for the Browns. Jeez…..we finally get a reprieve from bad ownership and now our new owner’s company is raided.
    Very unfortunate.

  15. jetgreeeen says: Apr 16, 2013 3:13 PM

    The buck stops at the top big dog.

  16. shackdelrio says: Apr 16, 2013 3:24 PM

    “Despite the presence of the IRS at the raid, Haslam said that he doesn’t not believe the situation involves violation of state or federal tax laws.”

    Sounds like an admission of guilt.

  17. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Apr 16, 2013 3:29 PM

    “Insignificant number of customers” ……sounds like true blueblood billionairespeak.

    Probably sticking it to some little guys.

  18. jimiinpa says: Apr 16, 2013 3:33 PM

    Haslam says it will be “business as usual” for the Browns xxxxxxxxxxxxx that’s a scary thought

  19. jackblackshairyback says: Apr 16, 2013 3:33 PM

    The Feds have a rebate enforcement division? How do I get them after Verizon for me?

  20. phreakin says: Apr 16, 2013 3:36 PM

    since the IRS is involved, I’d bet that his comoany was claining they paid the rebates and were writing them off on taxes. And a rebate on 50, 000 gallons of diesel is not a small amount by itself let alone for a few hundred customers or whatever.

  21. thefiesty1 says: Apr 16, 2013 3:39 PM

    Business as usual? I hope not. They haven’t won more than 4 games in how many seasons. New ownership/management/coaches, something better change.

  22. istateyourname says: Apr 16, 2013 3:40 PM

    Exactly what I said on the other story on this! We are losing 8 to 1 on the thumbs right now Jimmy!

  23. godblessfootball says: Apr 16, 2013 3:40 PM

    He sounds and looks like sgt. Schultz of Hogans Heroes ” I know nuthing, nuuuuthing!”

  24. thetooloftools says: Apr 16, 2013 3:43 PM

    I don’t want business as usual.
    I want us NOT TO SUCK !

  25. lionsfan2014 says: Apr 16, 2013 3:45 PM

    Sounds like it would normally be a civil situation, except that I bet in this case that the Flying J’s customers was the US Gov’t itself so I imagine they’re looking at a defrauding the US Gov’t kind of charge.

  26. jackblackshairyback says: Apr 16, 2013 3:54 PM

    phreakin…. actually Haslam said the company doesn’t owe the rebates.

  27. commonsensedude says: Apr 16, 2013 3:55 PM

    “There’s nothing to see here, folks! Move along, now!!”

  28. brownsfanincali says: Apr 16, 2013 3:56 PM

    Should it come to pass that Haslam is involved here to a criminal extent, I think that Browns fans should press the NFL legally to allow Cleveland to
    buy the Browns and be owned by the community, as are the Packers. In view of our ownership ” issues ” for the last 25 years or so, if not longer, I think they OWE us that.

  29. lcbrown12 says: Apr 16, 2013 4:01 PM

    “I’m not involved in that kind of detail in the business,”

    You’re the CEO, you are involved in all of the business Mr. Haslam.

  30. osage44 says: Apr 16, 2013 4:03 PM

    “Business as usual” for the Browns? That cannot be comforting to Browns fans.

  31. gonavybeatarmy says: Apr 16, 2013 4:11 PM

    Perhaps if Goodell and Mara had spent their time on more appropriate tasks such as vetting new applicants for ownership instead of figuring out ways to unfairly penalize Mara’s division opponents this would not have happened.

  32. ytownjoe says: Apr 16, 2013 4:15 PM

    If truckers get rebates it’s only fair that season ticket holders get rebates for 10 years of bad football.

  33. macbull says: Apr 16, 2013 4:15 PM

    IRS and FBI raid Pilot Hqts over rebates?

    Sorry, but I have a feeling this might go a little deeper than a few people who did not get their rebates.

    It sure seems that if it weren’t for “bad luck”, the Browns would have no luck at all.

    Some fans point to the decades of misfortune that the Browns have endured and are convinced that the team “is cursed”…aka, “the Browns curse”.

    Being a rather positive individual, I laughed and made fun of those who spoke about the franchise being cursed.

    ..I’m not laughing now…I’m starting to wonder if there might be something to this “curse stuff”.

  34. juliusanonymous says: Apr 16, 2013 4:17 PM

    Typical CEO-speak. You think he’s going to admit, to the media, any kind of wrong-doing during a joint federal investigation? Pfffffft. Why? So he can simultaneously devalue publicly traded stock AND help the feds? Lol.

    If the FBI is investigating, then this is far more serious than a simple case of forgetting to rebate a few customers. And surely, after lawyering up, Haslam must be aware that he can be personally held liable in a federal case and be facing serious charges if the feds can prove he had knowledge of any fraud committed by the Corp.

  35. mayfieldroadboy says: Apr 16, 2013 4:17 PM

    Not surprising the IRS and other government agencies are involved. Let’s just look back to the very beginning of the Browns and Mickey McBride’s association with the “Chicago syndicate” and the teletype and newspaper wars in Cleveland; or what about NFL owners who lose their teams to gambling casinos. Speaking of the “Chicago syndicate”, are the Bears squeaky clean? And Carrol Rosenbloom’s untimely and questionable passing? Almost every NFL team had its beginnings, and some still remain, in the shadows hiding from the RICO act. Vegas and the NFL were started by the same group of people. And they are still intertwined to this day.

  36. lionfl says: Apr 16, 2013 5:01 PM

    Typical 1% BS from Haslam..the CEO is the guy who should know…IRS and FBI ? Hang on for a ride Browns fans..I feel for ya

  37. mogogo1 says: Apr 16, 2013 5:03 PM

    Business as usual… that’s an ugly phrase given how the last decade or so has been for this franchise.

    Business as usual like drafting another QB for one year before deciding they like somebody better the next draft? Throw out all the coaches and front office and start over yet again?

  38. kwjsb says: Apr 16, 2013 5:04 PM

    This could actually be a good sign, remember Mickey McBride, there was an owner who not only could hide money in his Taxi company, pay players on the side as Taxi drivers (hence the term taxi squad), He owned the Browns for 11 years and went to 10 Championships winning 6 of them before he sold it to the other bum.

  39. hillshirefarmsgomeat says: Apr 16, 2013 5:21 PM

    phreakin says: Apr 16, 2013 3:36 PM

    since the IRS is involved, I’d bet that his comoany was claining they paid the rebates and were writing them off on taxes. And a rebate on 50, 000 gallons of diesel is not a small amount by itself let alone for a few hundred customers or whatever.
    ——————————————————— Actually, the rebate on 50,000 gallons a month is going to be .01 or .02/gallon, so you’re looking at $500 to $1000 per customer. If it’s 10 customers that $10k tops. I doubt the feds are raiding your compound over $10k.

  40. officialgame says: Apr 16, 2013 5:32 PM

    Busted.

  41. mogogo1 says: Apr 16, 2013 5:34 PM

    Best of luck with the spin, Mr. Haslam, but I’m finding it really hard to buy that the feds burst in and take over offices because of a rebate misunderstanding with a couple of customers. Somebody must have been doing something very illegal, probably for a long time prior to this raid.

  42. nobreak1269 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:00 AM

    Too bad they didn’t raid Goodell or Kraft instead-they are the REAL crooks.

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