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Regional & National Business & Technology

Plaintiffs in Pilot lawsuit hire ex-FBI head Freeh

May 16th, 2013 3:00 am by Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s firm has been hired by trucking companies suing Pilot Flying J over allegations that the nation’s largest diesel fuel retailer bilked customers out of rebates.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Tate told WBIR-TV  on Wednesday that Freeh has agreed to work on the lawsuit filed after federal agents raided Pilot’s headquarters in Knoxville last month.

Pilot is run by CEO Jimmy Haslam, who is also the owner of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

The FBI alleges members of Pilot’s sales team deliberately withheld rebates to boost Pilot profits and pad sales commissions. No criminal charges have been filed.

A Knoxville judge last month rejected a claim in the civil lawsuit that Jimmy Haslam was tampering with potential witnesses by contacting trucking companies and offering to reimburse them for any unpaid rebates.

Haslam was scheduled to speak at a transportation conference in Indianapolis on Thursday morning. Haslam was expected to take questions from the audience, but not from the media.

Freeh’s firm last year issued a 267-page report for Penn State on the university’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. He has also worked for the New Orleans Saints in response to the NFL’s bounty probe; investigated corruption allegations for FIFA, international soccer’s governing body; and served as trustee for creditors of collapsed brokerage firm MF Global.

A Pilot spokesman said the company had no comment on who was involved in the lawsuit.


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