Trial Finally Scheduled For Flying J Employees Reportedly Involved In Rebate Scam

A date has been set for the employees who claim that they are innocent of involvement in  the 2013 Pilot Flying J rebate scandal to face trial.

Court Date Set For Flying J Employees Who Pled “Not Guilty”

The eight former and current employees will go to court on October 24, 2017, almost four and a half years after the FBI and IRS raided the company’s headquarters in Knoxville on April 15. 2013.

In February 2016, the eight employees were indicted for their role in the diesel fuel rebate scam that allegedly made them and their company rich on money from truckers. Those indicted employees have all pled “not guilty” to charges laid against them.

The eight employees due in court are:

  • Former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood
  • Scott “Scooter” Wombold, vice president of national accounts
  • John “Stick” Freeman, former vice president of sales
  • Account representative Katy Bibee
  • Account representative Heather Jones
  • Vicki Borden, director of wholesale and inside sales
  • Karen Mann, regional account representative
  • John Spiewa, regional sales manager in Ohio.

The prosecutors in the case claim that the Flying J employees preyed on truckers and targeted those who didn’t speak English well enough to defend themselves or those who lacked the sophistication to understand that they were being duped.

Haslam May Be Forced To Testify

Earlier this month, lawyers for Flying J owner Jimmy Haslam filed to have the charges dropped, but the judge refused and could force Haslam to finally testify in court on his role in the rebate fraud.

Haslam has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the scam. An attorney for one of the trucking companies suing Flying J stated, “We look forward to giving Mr. Haslam the opportunity to tell us, under oath, how his employees were able to conduct this massive fraud right under his nose.

No charges have been filed agains Haslam himself.

Pilot already reached an $85 million civil settlement with several trucking companies that have sued them. They also agreed to pay $92 million in penalty fees and to cooperate in the criminal investigation into the rebate scheme.

So far, 10 Pilot employees have pled guilty for their role in the scheme.

Sources:
WBIR
CS News
Cleveland.com