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Freitag, 15. Juni 2018, 02:34

defraud trucking

McCourty Jersey Elite
, Tenn. (AP) Federal agents used a Pilot Flying J
employee to try to get Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to make incriminating
comments on the telephone, but court testimony suggests Haslam was aware he was
making the call at their behest.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports former sales executive Brian Mosher, who
has pleaded guilty to participating in a widespread scheme to defraud trucking
customers, testified Tuesday that federal agents showed up at his Iowa home in
April 2013 and had him call Haslam to say,
”Jimmy Wholesale
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, we’ve been caught.”

Mosher said Haslam replied: ”I understand there are some folks at your
house,” and then handed the phone to a lawyer in Pilot’s legal
Article continues below ...Haslam was not charged and denied any prior knowledge of the scheme. Fourteen
other members of the Pilot sales department have pleaded guilty. The rebate scam
caused the company to pay an $85 million settlement to scammed customers and a
$92 million penalty to the government.

Pilot, the largest truck stop company in the U.S., had been promising rebates
and price discounts to trucking companies as an incentive to continue buying
fuel from their truck stops. But records show that the rebate program was
complex and discounts varied by location, so it wasn’t always easy for customers
to keep up with how much they were due from Pilot’s program.

Much of the testimony at the trial so far has focused on how Pilot executives
targeted customers they considered too unsophisticated to recognize they were
being ripped off.

The four former Pilot employees on trial in Chattanooga are former President
Hazelwood Tre'Quan
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, former vice president Scott ”Scooter” Wombold and two
former saleswomen, Heather Jones and Karen Mann.

Court filings submitted before the trial detailed how investigators had
executed a search warrant on Mosher’s home about 45 minutes before launching a
large raid at Pilot’s headquarters in Knoxville. Investigators had hoped Mosher
would make recorded calls to other Pilot employees on their behalf, but they
were likely thwarted when Mosher’s wife got in contact with Wombold, who in turn
informed Hazelwood.

The jury on Tuesday for the first time heard an undercover recording of a
voice identified by prosecutors as belonging to Haslam. The recording was made
by a salesman working undercover for the FBI and IRS at a lake house meeting of
the Pilot sales team in which junior employees were instructed about the fraud
scheme and the dangers of getting caught by customers who were on top of their

Haslam in the recording spoke about ”Stick’s deal with Western,” a reference
to former vice president John ”Stick” Freeman once having to smooth over a
relationship with trucking customer Western Express by agreeing to buy a
broken-down plane for the inflated price of $1 million after being caught
cheating the Nashville company .

Freeman pleaded guilty in July and is expected to testify. Jurors previously
heard secret recordings of Freeman boasting about how Haslam ”loved it” when the
sales team swindled customers.

”He knew –
absolutely Bryce
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,” Freeman said in the recording.

Pilot was founded by family patriarch Jim Haslam, a former University of
Tennessee football player, with a single gas station in 1958. His other son,
Bill Haslam, was president of Pilot before being elected Knoxville mayor in 2003
and later to his current position as Tennessee governor. Bill Haslam has denied
any knowledge of the
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