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Report: Haslam not subpoenaed to testify before grand jury, yet

Jimmy Haslam AP

The civil side of the Pilot Flying J fiasco is moving quickly.  As to the criminal side, it’s anyone’s guess.

A federal grand jury reportedly has been convened to investigate the customer rebate fraud scam at the truck-stop company run by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.  According to FOX 8 in Cleveland, Haslam has yet to receive a subpoena to testify.

If it happens, Haslam will face a difficult choice.  Will he reiterate the Sgt. Schulz routine, or will he invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination?

He could try to both, artfully discerning in the moment which questions can be answered with an “I didn’t know” and which questions should be met by reading the statement crafted by his lawyer and committed to memory.  Something like:  “On the advice of counsel and in light of all relevant facts and circumstances, I am choosing to invoke my right not to testify on this point but I nevertheless reiterate my position that I knew nothing about any potentially illegal activities.”

Five Pilot Flying J executives have pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.  At least one acknowledged in his formal agreement that “senior management” was aware of the situation.

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12 Responses to “Report: Haslam not subpoenaed to testify before grand jury, yet”
  1. vibesid says: Jul 16, 2013 11:35 AM

    Lucky he has good (expensive) lawyers. He is walking a tightrope and has to be careful not to commit perjury. However, the feds don’t need his testimony to convict him if they have enough other evidence. It seems like they do. This is already another black eye for the NFL.

  2. floratiotime says: Jul 16, 2013 11:38 AM

    Rich people don’t go to jail. This is America, with liberty and justice for the hereditary wealthy.

  3. motobus says: Jul 16, 2013 11:42 AM

    Last one to receive the subpoena is generally the target for the investigation.

  4. stlunatik says: Jul 16, 2013 12:19 PM

    He belongs in jail. You can’t tell me he didn’t know what was going on.

  5. h0c2000 says: Jul 16, 2013 12:22 PM

    Fresh off of 24 months of federal grand jury duty, I have some insight into the mechanism.

    We the grand jury (actually the assistant us attorney) never subpenaed a subject of an investigation. Once, a subject was offered to appear freely but that offer was declined. That case ended up without being presented.

    Each ausa is different, obviously, but they appeared to keep those deep in the know for the end right before the presentation.

    Also the AUSA would never allow you to invoke the right against self incrimination but to also testify like this:
    ”…I am choosing to invoke my right not to testify on this point but I nevertheless reiterate my position that I knew nothing about any potentially illegal activities.”
    You can’t have it both ways. They hammered people who tried that stunt.

    My advise to anyone who gets interviewed by federal law enforcement, plead the fifth and demand representation. Then get immunity even if you did nothing wrong.

  6. ss9boxer says: Jul 16, 2013 12:29 PM

    Sgt. Schultz!!! Great reference!!!

  7. godblessfootball says: Jul 16, 2013 12:30 PM

    I know nuuuuthing, nuuuuthing, is the route I would take

  8. denverdude7 says: Jul 16, 2013 12:37 PM

    That pot of water you’re sitting in is starting to get a little warmer isn’t it Jimmy?

    Man up and tell the truth.

    Sincerely,
    America’s Truck Drivers

  9. ideawrter says: Jul 16, 2013 1:14 PM

    This just gets worse and worse. NFL vetting for owners really stinks! Who will really be left holding the bag when all is said and done with this mess?
    The Browns, their fans and the city of Cleveland… yet again.

    Two steps forward…4 steps back.

  10. vegasdogg says: Jul 16, 2013 1:42 PM

    Why do I keep reading about how the NFL vetting process is broken? The freaking company was under SECRET indictment. Nobody knew.

  11. christophershearin says: Jul 16, 2013 2:02 PM

    wait, why does he get a grand jury? heck why does he even get a trial? The mob demands he be found guilty and put away for life, so instead of wasting taxpayer cash, just put him away already….(sarcasam)

  12. crabbies2013 says: Jul 16, 2013 8:37 PM

    How about some facts:

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J reached a settlement agreement today with trucking companies that sued Pilot over claims of fuel rebate fraud — a tentative deal that could halt a nationwide string of lawsuits against the family business.

    The Cleveland Browns owner agreed to pay firms that were shorted by his truck stop chain everything they’re due, plus six percent annual interest, according to the agreement (see in document viewer below) given preliminary approval by U.S. District Judge James Moody in Arkansas.

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