Tue. 4:41pm: Browns owner: Family company under criminal probe
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said today the federal government has launched a criminal investigation into rebates offered by the truck stop chain owned by his family, including his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.
Agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service raided the Pilot Flying J headquarters in Knoxville on Monday.
Jimmy Haslam, who is the CEO of Pilot Flying J, held a news conference in Knoxville to confirm the investigation is criminal, rather than civil, in nature.
“We don’t know a lot. It appears to be centered on a very insufficient number of customers and the application of rebates, that rebates that were owed to the customers were not paid. We of course disagree with that,” the CEO said.
Haslam said subpoenas had been issued to several members of his 23-person sales force, though he said he was unable to identify any specifically. Haslam said he had not been subpoenaed, and no one has been arrested.
Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney in Knoxville, told The Associated Press that four search warrants have been served on Pilot, but the reasons have been sealed by a federal court.
FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents locked down the Pilot Flying J headquarters Monday afternoon and ordered most employees out of the building as they conducted their search well past midnight.