As the Pilot Flying J legal entanglement approaches its first anniversary, CEO (and Browns owner) Jimmy Haslam has yet to be charged with any crimes.
For a while on Friday, the Cleveland ABC affiliate claimed otherwise. ABC 5 in Cleveland reported that Haslam has been indicted on federal fraud charges. The report promptly was retracted by the station via its website, newsnet5.com.
“A report erroneously posted on newsnet5.com earlier Friday claiming Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam had been indicted is inaccurate and has been removed from the station’s website,” the station said in a subsequent item on the ABC 5 website. “An internal investigation is underway to determine how the erroneous report was posted.
“Jimmy Haslam has never been charged with any crimes related to an ongoing FBI investigation into alleged fuel rebate fraud and has consistently denied having any knowledge of the alleged fraud,” the updated report explains.
Haslam has maintained firmly that he was not aware of any fraudulent activities Pilot Flying J, and he has expressed confidence that he will not face criminal charges arising from a customer rebate scam. Multiple Pilot Flying J employees have pleaded guilty to federal charges, while also agreeing to cooperate with the investigation.
It’s possible newsnet5.com has had a story regarding a Haslam indictment ready to go, and that someone accidentally published it.