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VOL. 39 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 8, 2015

Customers claim fraud at Haslam-owned chain went deeper

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NASHVILLE (AP) - After a 2013 FBI raid on the truck-stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Pilot Flying J moved quickly to settle fraud claims. But a handful of companies that refused to settle say they have uncovered a deception that other firms overlooked.

The trucking companies agreed to buy fuel exclusively from Pilot Flying J in exchange for special rates, according to court documents. Those rates varied from company to company but often were based on the fuel cost plus a few cents per gallon. Pilot has admitted that in many cases it failed to provide the promised rate - for example, tacking on an additional 3 cents per gallon rather than a promised 2 cents.

But trucking firms suing in federal court say they also were deceived about the initial cost those rebates were based on.

In documents filed Monday, the firms say they believed Pilot's "cost-plus" offers were based on Pilot's a ctual fuel costs. In reality, they were based on an industry average plus various fees and taxes.

"Pilot, as the largest retail supplier of diesel fuel, does not pay an average price," the lawsuit claims.

Pilot attorney Aubrey Harwell said the Oil Price Information Services contract average used by Pilot is simply the industry standard.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0