Jury in fraud case hears Jimmy Haslam’s voice on secretly-recorded tape

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It’s been more than four years since Pilot Flying J found itself suddenly embroiled in a major fraud case, arising from the failure to provide promised fuel rebates to trucking customers. At an ongoing federal trial in Tennessee, jurors heard for the first time on Tuesday the voice of Browns owner (and Pilot Flying J CEO) Jimmy Haslam, via a secretly-recorded tape.

A video update from Jamie Satterfield of the Knoxville News Sentinel explains the content and the context of Haslam’s comments. In short, his words seem to indicate awareness of the scheme to defraud customers by promising them a certain rebate, and then failing to honor it.

Four former Pilot Flying J executives currently are on trial for fraud. Multiple owners have previously pleaded guilty. Haslam steadfastly has insisted that he knew nothing about any improper activities.

In 2014, the company paid nearly $100 million in fines to avoid prosecution of the business entity, but as of February 2016 Haslam personally remained susceptible to indictment. He has never been charged.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart was asked about the situation during a Tuesday media briefing, given the breadth of the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. Lockhart said he’s not sufficiently familiar with the case to comment on whether Haslam would potentially face discipline.

38 responses to “Jury in fraud case hears Jimmy Haslam’s voice on secretly-recorded tape

  1. Don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes what you hear is not what you think. Just be careful. If the glove doesn’t fit, maybe it’s not the right glove. Everything isn’t always as simple as you might think.

  2. It is no wonder he has been defrauding his Browns Season ticket holders and fans for decades!
    He has been promising fans a decent team since he has been involved with the “New Browns” after the old Browns bailed on the State.

  3. I don’t like it but lets face it….he’s rich. Rich people don’t go to jail in America. Enough zeros and you have a licence to kill. If you are middle class, you better mind your P’s and most of your Q’s and we will be just fine. Now if you are poor, you better mind all of your P’s and all of your Q’s or we will lock you up for a really long time.

    Liberty and Justice for all.
    Amen.

  4. The recording of Haslam’s voice ties back to the ‘smoking gun’ which is the jet airplane Haslam’s company bought at a loss from the customer who caught them defrauding them. It seems to me there can be no plausible denial that Haslam didn’t know why his company was buying a jet. If the Fed’s have any sort of competency they should be able to nail Haslam.
    C’mon USA, you can do it !!!

  5. C’mon Goodell, get that investigation going…we know you would if it were a player involved. Or does that only apply to the peons of the NFL, not the 32 power brokers?

  6. charliecharger says:
    November 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Don’t jump to conclusions.
    ——————

    Why not? Goodell does it all of the time.

    Besides, it’s more probable than not that Haslam was generally aware of the ongoing scheme to defraud truck drivers.

  7. The Browns are some organization. Just like the Colts. Anyway the league can force Flying J and Irsay out the door. Gotta be better for the game than suspending star players, its just gotta.

  8. Sounds pretty bad. Premeditated, organized fraud scheme to offer rebates with no intent to ever pay them out. Then Haslam said it reminded him of a previous scheme they had run. Seems like Haslam will go down eventually.

  9. charliecharger says:
    November 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes what you hear is not what you think. Just be careful. If the glove doesn’t fit, maybe it’s not the right glove. Everything isn’t always as simple as you might think.
    _________________________________________________

    The artist formerly known as tonebones?

  10. I used to be afraid of big government and voted accordingly, now I’m afraid of big corporations doing whatever they want to the public without consequences. Same fears of an entity too large infringing on our liberties. A crime occurred but why should corporations alter their practices now when no one ever gets held accountable. Now back to Football.

  11. He’s running an even bigger scam with the Browns.
    ___
    The Browns are the money laundering branch of this syndicate. $16 million for Osweiler, are you frigging kidding me? Hey Brock, hope you like cashing all those seriously dirty checks.

  12. Don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes what you hear is not what you think. Just be careful. If the glove doesn’t fit, maybe it’s not the right glove. Everything isn’t always as simple as you might think.
    ——-
    Jimmy, is that you?

  13. There’s talk of removing Jerry Jones as the Cowboys owner for conduct detrimental to the league (for talking trash about Goodell). Haslam makes Jones look like a model citizen. If he’s allowed to keep his franchise after this, no player should ever have to accept a suspension.

  14. pats777 says:
    November 28, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Hey Brock, hope you like cashing all those seriously dirty checks.
    ———————–

    I know I would.

  15. Michael LaRocca, Technical Editor says:
    November 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    The NFL isn’t sure how to punish Haslam because they fear that suspending him would improve the team.
    ——————

    Suspension? They need to revoke his ownership and sell the team to someone that would actually try to win.

  16. To think that the CEO didn’t know what was happening in his company is naïve X 10. So Haslam skates and let’s 14 of his folks swing….what a piece of S!*t.

  17. Btw, wonder if this will be a “distraction” since we always hear that for players when they have some off the field trouble. Reporters should be asking about this every day. I mean it did actually affect lots of people that may even be fans and not just be something that hypothetically offends them.

    So your team owner defrauded regular people. What do you think about that practice Hue Jackson? What do you think about it DeShone Kizer? What do you think about it Miles Garret? Or is that just the fake outrage reserved for the players when they have any off the field problems?

  18. If you listen carefully you’ll hear the sound of Peyton Manning putting the brakes on the rumored idea of joining the Browns front office. He should just buy them, anyway. Couldn’t do any worse than the however-many previous owners have done!

  19. mmack66 says:
    November 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm
    Michael LaRocca, Technical Editor says:
    November 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    ——————

    Suspension? They need to revoke his ownership and sell the team to someone that would actually try to win.

    _____________________
    This is so ‘right on’! The sad part is it almost seems he actually tried (!) He just has zero clue as how to do it and hires all the wrong people around him in the proccess. :/

  20. Every now and again, something truly marvelous happens in the world of sports that inspires poetry. And sometimes, truly stupid things occur that force me to write limericks. Jimmy’s leadership of the Cleveland Browns falls into that latter category.

    Browns fans were truly excited
    And felt that the ship would be righted
    But the team is still diving
    Thanks to Jimmy’s conniving
    So we’d all like to see him indicted

    The front office is just as inept
    But Jimmy makes sure all are kept
    For all the wrong reasons
    And they last but two seasons
    Then the building is once again swept

    They talk of a brand new approach
    when the Browns change their GM or coach
    But then comes the draft
    and they do something daft
    And the other teams chuckle and poach

    They say that improving’s a must
    And ask for the fan base to trust
    That the ultimate fix
    is to stockpile picks
    So they can move up and draft the next bust

    I wish I could offer some hope
    But the franchise is run by a dope
    His numerous scams
    have done squat for the fans
    Who are long past the end of their rope

  21. “It is no wonder he has been defrauding his Browns Season ticket holders and fans for decades!”

    kingthielenscourt, I am no fan of Jimmy Haslam, I absolutely think his ignorance has hurt the team since he has taken over, BUT I’m not sure why you are commenting on something you clearly don’t know anything about. Haslam came to agreement to take over ownership of the Browns in 2012. Several years short of “decades”.

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