Yesterday, the FBI, IRS and members of the Knoxville Police Department raided the Pilot Flying J corporate campus in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The campus was placed on lock down while the FBI executed a search warrant. The media were barred from entering the Pilot campus, but employees could be seen being escorted off the property by FBI agents.
Today in a press conference, Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said the raid is part of a criminal investigation into claims that the company failed to pay rebates to trucking customers. He denied claims that the raid involved tax investigations.
“It does not involve any tax issues,” he said.
Haslam said the investigation was prompted by a small number of customers who made complaints about the rebate program, though he didn’t know how many customers filed claims.
A statement released by a public relations firm representing the company stated that two search warrants were served at the Pilot Flying J campus: one on Monday afternoon and one Monday night. Several subpoenas were issued, as well.
“We will cooperate appropriately with any and all external investigations and conduct our own. I believe and trust there has been no wrongdoing. The integrity of our company always has been job No.1,” Haslam said.
According to Knox News, 25-30 agents participated in the raid. The agents prohibited employees from accessing company information. Employees were asked to turn off their computers and cell phones. Many employees were corralled into a office areas and others were escorted off of the property.
“Certain people in certain departments were asked to stay,” the employee said. “Mostly people who collect data.”
Knox News reported that the focus of the investigation appears to be on the IT, accounting and customer service departments.
This is an ongoing story. Stay tuned to CDLLife for updates as they come available.