Cleveland Browns owner and Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam named in FBI A - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

FBI Affidavit: Haslam employees were "cooking the books"

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Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J and Cleveland Browns owner
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

19 Action News has the affidavit filed in the federal investigation of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam's company Pilot Flying J.

Haslam's company was raided by the FBI and IRS on Monday. The affidavit was filed Thursday in federal court in Knoxville, TN.

The criminal investigation claims Pilot mislead trucking company customers about cash rebates they were owed. 

The affidavit states Haslam was present at sales meetings when the alleged fraud was discussed. According to recorded conversations in the affidavit, employees discussed whether or not Haslam knew employees were "cooking the books". One employee said, "he don't know anything about our business ... he just wants numbers."

In later conversations, an FBI informant inside Pilot Flying J discussed an email containing a speadsheet detailing manual rebates made by the employees. The informant said, "the increased profit from Rebate Fraud would clearly be evident to Jimmy Haslam."

Pilot Flying J employees are accused or withholding fuel price rebates and discounts to boost profitability and commissions.

According to the affidavit, Haslam knew specifics about the rebate fraud. One employee is quoted saying: "Does he care? He just wants numbers." The employee went on to say, "He didn't know about the others", referring to other companies being mislead by Pilot Flying J.

After the affidavit was released, Haslam released this statement:

Statement from Jimmy Haslam

"I've read the affidavits.  I now understand more clearly the questions the federal investigators are exploring.

"I maintain that the foundation of this company is built on its integrity and that any willful wrongdoing by any employee of this company at any time is intolerable.

"We will continue to cooperate with the federal investigation and continue our own investigation in these allegations.

"I value the relationships we have with our customers, our vendors and our team members across this country and regret that they have to go through this with us, but I trust and believe their faith in this company and its principles has never been misplaced."

CLICK HERE to read the complete affidavit.

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