Federal prosecutors gave a few new details today on this week’s search of Pilot Flying J headquarters but still won’t say what the investigation’s about or where it’s headed.
Agents of the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service raided the company’s headquarters Monday on Lonas Drive. Authorities haven’t said what the agents seized, although a Pilot employee present during the raid said agents concentrated on documents and electronic files.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said today agents served a total of four separate search warrants, one for each of Pilot’s buildings. Agents served the first three warrants Monday afternoon — two at the main Pilot campus and a third at the company’s data center on Weisgarber Road — and served a fourth warrant Monday night at another building on the campus that Pilot shares with an accounting firm.
Jimmy Haslam, Pilot’s chief executive officer, has said the search was part of a federal criminal investigation into claims of unpaid fuel rebates to trucking companies. He denied any wrongdoing.
Killian wouldn’t respond to Haslam’s statement today.
“We have no further comment,” he said.
No charges have been filed in the probe, and authorities have indicated the search might be part of a long-term investigation. Jimmy Haslam has said some of the company’s sales staff were subpoenaed, although he hasn’t said who.
Haslam is owner of the Cleveland Browns.
By Matt Lakin - Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn. (MCT)
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