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Pilot Flying J exec: “Senior management” knew of rebate fraud

Haslam AP

Maybe ESPN should bring back Playmakers.  Not as a scripted show, but as a documentary.

At a time when a prominent NFL player faces apparently significant entanglement in a murder investigation, the league’s newest owner could eventually find himself facing a federal indictment.

According to Nate Rau of the Tennessean, Pilot Flying J executive Jay Stinnett stated in his plea agreement that “senior management were aware of the rebate reduction scheme” that has resulted in five guilty pleas, with possibly more on the way.

The document, per Rau, doesn’t identify specific members of senior management.  The most senior member of management is Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the CEO of Pilot Flying J.

Stinnett began cooperating with the federal government the same day the IRS and FBI showed up unannounced to search corporate headquarters, and other locations.  Stinnett agreed to cooperate with investigators and to testify in any court proceedings.

The investigation focuses on rebates and discounts that were not given to customers deemed too unsophisticated to realize they were being shorted.  Throughout the process, Haslam has downplayed the extent of the scam and denied any knowledge of it on his watch.

Look for the authorities to continue working their way up the Pilot Flying J ladder, prosecuting as far as the evidence will take them — even if (or especially if) it takes them all the way to the top of the company.

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38 Responses to “Pilot Flying J exec: “Senior management” knew of rebate fraud”
  1. davikes says: Jun 22, 2013 1:35 AM

    I’m waiting for the NFL to apply the same standards to owners as it does to players who commit felonies. I’ll probably have to wait a long time, but Jimmy might end up in jail. I’m sure that’s what the prosecutors are aiming for. The lower level employees are not going to point fingers at each other, they are going to point up the ladder.

  2. hedleykow says: Jun 22, 2013 1:48 AM

    Makes you wonder what else they have been up to. Has anyone (not on Haslam’s payroll) checked to see if the Flying J fuel pump meters have been properly calibrated during the course of the last 20 years? Mr. CEO sure has a lot of money to throw around.

  3. crimepedrankings says: Jun 22, 2013 2:02 AM

    some high quality crime in the league these days

  4. flannlv says: Jun 22, 2013 2:11 AM

    SO who’s going to buy the Browns?

  5. coyote8283 says: Jun 22, 2013 2:14 AM

    “Pilot Flying J” is the worst name of a compost, perhaps ever.

  6. coyote8283 says: Jun 22, 2013 2:15 AM

    Company, not compost.

  7. dwatkins69 says: Jun 22, 2013 2:45 AM

    Wait you mean someone below Haslem is going to plea and turn in people above him. Shocked I tell you

  8. hpeters77 says: Jun 22, 2013 2:47 AM

    Police are working harder on this case than the Hernandez case

  9. gator2006 says: Jun 22, 2013 2:50 AM

    another mistake on the lake

  10. UPYRS says: Jun 22, 2013 3:00 AM

    Ouch Guilty As Charged. Browns have become the WalMart of the NFL

  11. jerrysglassescleaner says: Jun 22, 2013 3:06 AM

    Not everyone can be a successful owner like the business master mind Jerry Jones. Someone has to just cheat. Jerry lays the blueprint for great ownership as usual. He doesnt give away a super ring to the Russian president then accuse him of stealing it nor tells butt buddy Goodell to trash the spygate tapes. Help them Jerry.

  12. joearea609 says: Jun 22, 2013 3:23 AM

    well if he did not know about it, it could mean he is not in touch with the day to day operations. then he will not mind turning the company over to a board or have someone run it for him. if he did know about it, then he should be forced to turn it over to its board. I hope the other nfl owners for him to make him choose between the company and the team. sux for the browns fans thou, they have been nothing but kicked in the nuts from the time for years now.

  13. diggy1 says: Jun 22, 2013 3:23 AM

    “The investigation focuses on rebates and discounts that were not given to customers deemed too unsophisticated to realize they were being shorted.”

    Don’t health care companies do the exact same thing…deny claims that customers paid for an are entitled to, and hope that they don’t know any better…

  14. badintent says: Jun 22, 2013 3:49 AM

    Hope the investigation flys high…all the way to the top.Bernie Madoof needs a new cellmate

  15. onbucky96 says: Jun 22, 2013 4:51 AM

    How dare you Florio! Playmakers wasn’t real. There are no druggies, rapists, nor murderers in the NFL. Now remove this thread, High Chancellor Godell is not amused.

  16. brownsclown says: Jun 22, 2013 6:17 AM

    Seems to me that anyone involved with hiring Mike Lombardturd as GM has an excellent basis for an insanity plea!

  17. jayquintana says: Jun 22, 2013 6:45 AM

    Geez, who vetted this Haslem guy? The same people who vetted the Rutgers’ AD?

    The NFL is probably raking in the dough, but is it because of Goodell? Or because football is by far the most popular sport in America?

    In other words, is Goodell really the best person for this job?

  18. scottieplongballs says: Jun 22, 2013 7:15 AM

    Nothing bugs me more than some rich scum getting richer off of the less fortunate. I’d tune him up myself if I got a chance.

  19. kgb108 says: Jun 22, 2013 7:29 AM

    Yeah, finally a Playmakers reference! I’ve been wanting to drop that one for awhile now given all this stuff going on,

  20. vibesid says: Jun 22, 2013 7:40 AM

    It’s only a matter of time until the noose goes around the necks of the Haslam brothers. The FBI has already gotten guilty pleas from company managers who have agreed to give the feds information about “senior management.”

  21. thenew013 says: Jun 22, 2013 7:42 AM

    Americas biggest banks and stock brokers do crap like this all the time and they barely get a slap on the wrist. I dont think they should get much worse. What they did is wrong but the justice system is so wishy washy that the same crime can go from a small fine for one party to fines and jail time for the next.

  22. thesteelers says: Jun 22, 2013 7:48 AM

    Typical Browns lowlife.

  23. howiefeltersnatch says: Jun 22, 2013 7:58 AM

    Again, I’m not saying the guy didn’t do anything wrong and he should be held accountable, but if you guys think this witch hunt didn’t start in the first place because Haslem is a Republican in a red state you’re insane.

  24. coonsqualler says: Jun 22, 2013 8:22 AM

    thesteelers says: Jun 22, 2013 7:48 AM

    Typical Browns lowlife.
    —————————————————–

    UMMM, this happened as an owner of your Steelers….Some people have no clue! Idiot!!

    Just Sayin’………

  25. cdan374 says: Jun 22, 2013 9:16 AM

    Haslem’s days as the owner of the Browns are numbered…

    Whether his money can keep him out of jail remains to be seen but Goodell and the other owners will have to give Jimmy the boot…

  26. captnmatt56 says: Jun 22, 2013 9:26 AM

    Does anyone have Mark Cuban’s number?

  27. bereado says: Jun 22, 2013 9:48 AM

    “Makes you wonder what else they have been up to. Has anyone (not on Haslam’s payroll) checked to see if the Flying J fuel pump meters have been properly calibrated during the course of the last 20 years? Mr. CEO sure has a lot of money to throw around.”

    Fuel dispensers must be calibrated and sealed by the state weights and measures office in which they reside at least once a year. If they are every re-calibrated, they must be re-sealed. It would be virtually impossible to rig them.

  28. ngucastrati says: Jun 22, 2013 10:48 AM

    Haslam should do what Obama and Holder do with government scandals; claim that you have no knowledge of wrongdoing and are outraged thereby divorcing yourself from responsibility.

  29. mcmeen0576 says: Jun 22, 2013 10:55 AM

    The steelers should just buy the Browns….they already own them anyway

  30. hedleykow says: Jun 22, 2013 11:04 AM

    @ bereado says:
    Jun 22, 2013 9:48 AM

    “Fuel dispensers must be calibrated and sealed by the state weights and measures office in which they reside at least once a year. If they are every re-calibrated, they must be re-sealed. It would be virtually impossible to rig them.”

    *****************************************

    LOL, unless the state office was on your payroll.

    It was a joke! Ha ha.

  31. chief0727 says: Jun 22, 2013 11:25 AM

    It must be true. Rumor has it Bill Belichek “taped” the meeting where the scam was discussed.

  32. bluntsmokinskinsfan says: Jun 22, 2013 11:48 AM

    This Stinnett guy is a tool. Why is it that everyone ways to rat and point fingers? Harlan should spend some $ and tune this guy up.

    @jerrysglassescleaner here’s another thing Jerry doesn’t do… Hire a legit GM because he’s a good one.

  33. oldbrowndawg says: Jun 22, 2013 11:57 AM

    howiefeltersnatch has the most “to the point” and accurate post on this otherwise inane board. Why don’t some of you dudes who hate the “evil rich” trying living in, say, Venezuela, or North Korea, or Iran, or Cuba? They hate rich guys, too. But, then again, I suppose it’s easier to sit on your ass in the fine country this system has produced for you and belly ache and whine about “rich guys getting off” at the expense of the po folks. Really? Is this the best you can do? What ya’ll gonna say if this investigation finds Haslam did not, in fact, know of or was complicit in these scams? I’ll bet you’ll just disappear into the woodwork on this issue and seek the next “scandal” to check out. Here’s a clue for you: check out the magnanimous federal government which is checking out Haslam. You know, NSA, IRS, HHS, etc. But you’re too “enlightened” to do that. Ridiculous!

  34. istateyourname says: Jun 22, 2013 12:06 PM

    “Company, not compost.”
    No, it said compost.

    For Sale: NFL franchise. Only used 16 Sunday’s per year, regular season only – never seen snow, garage kept. Classic looks, low miles. As-is. Best offer, no reserve.

  35. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Jun 22, 2013 12:25 PM

    ngucastrati says:
    Jun 22, 2013 10:48 AM
    Haslam should do what Obama and Holder do with government scandals; claim that you have no knowledge of wrongdoing and are outraged thereby divorcing yourself from responsibility.

    ——————-

    Can’t really get to excited about corporate corruption prosecutions like this when there is such a huge double standard while our current & previous U.S. government administrations continually lies & denies where no one is accountable for any breaking of the law. How can the citizenry be held to a standard that government leadership routinely trample on?!!

  36. pleezor says: Jun 22, 2013 1:03 PM

    Execs likely were pocketing the rebate money under Haslem’s nose.

  37. phinfan says: Jun 22, 2013 1:32 PM

    Knock Knock. Whos there? Federal Shredding Agency… give us all your dirty papers. We promise to shred them ;)

  38. seaeagle707 says: Jun 22, 2013 3:15 PM

    Rebates don’t happen at the pump. Trucker buys his fuel, pays with plastic or with an account. It is then up to the pump owner (Pilot Flying J), to calculate the rebate and either issue a check, a credit, or scrip to the account of the customer. Only under rare circumstances would a cash rebate be given on the spot (assuming a customer paid in cash).

    The mere fact that 5 execs have been indicted (so far) indicates a fairly large scheme with enough monetary value to make it worth their while to get involved. The big question now, is whether its worth it to the higher ups to protect Jimmy, or will he be thrown to the wolves (as part of a plea bargain deal, perhaps).

    The Browns may wind up with the only owner in the league, who runs his team from a chateau in the Swiss Alps.

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