Pilot whitewash? No mention of fraud scandal in WSJ’s Jimmy Haslam feature

Wall Street Journal feature on Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam is titled “How America’s Largest Truck Stop Owner Stays on the Right Path.” If you assumed the article would mention how Pilot recently fell off that path in a big way, you’d be mistaken.

Federal agents raided Pilot’s Knoxville headquarters in 2013 in an investigation into diesel rebate fraud. Secretly recorded conversations revealed members of the sales team deriding trucking company clients as unsophisticated and lazy. The company’s former president and more than a dozen members of the sales team were convicted of federal charges and Pilot paid $85 million to settle with most of the defrauded customers along with a  a $92 million penalty to the government.

Jimmy Haslam, who owns the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, wasn’t charged in the case and claimed he didn’t know about the wrongdoing. In the aftermath of the fraud scandal, the Haslam family sold a major share in the privately held company to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (which will grow to an 80% stake in 2023).

In the Wall Street Journal “Personal Board of Directors” feature about executives’ closest advisers, Haslam lists:

— Former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Chattanooga) a former college fraternity brother.

— Former Saks Inc. CEO R. Brad Martin, a member of the Pilot board since 1988.

— Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott, a Pilot board member since 2010.

— Steve Diggs, president and CEO of the Emerald Youth Foundation, a Christian nonprofit in Knoxville.

6 Responses to Pilot whitewash? No mention of fraud scandal in WSJ’s Jimmy Haslam feature

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    Its all about money. No need to mention the scandals. Too many people and advertisers are making money to worry about infractions of the past. Nothing to see here.

  • Silence Dogood says:

    President Trump owns one share of Pilot, purchased through a blind trust… Now how does the press coverage change?

    • Lenny says:

      Why would someone in the hospitality industry have stock in an oil company? I guess that explains the US relationship with Saudi Arabia.

  • Craig says:

    Why would a reputable newspaper (WSJ) muddle a quality business article with nonsense? Jimmy Haslam has never been charged with anything, so what’s your deal? Sounds to me like you have a personal vendetta against the Haslams. I’ve been following your blog for many years. Please stick to high quality journalistic facts. If I want to read sensationalism, I’ll subscribe to Newsweek or Time.

    • Betty J. Ziesel says:

      Just because Jimmy Haslam has never been charged with anything, doesn’t make him innocent. Every law-abiding Tennessean saw through the display of shenanigans and charades during the whole ordeal. Brother Billy Haslam also had to be protected in order to remain a viable player in the deep state. Haslam was/is NOT a Trump supporter. His lap-dog Chris Devaney remains well-entrenched in the Tennessee political community, i.e., Governor Lee and now Dr. Sethi’s campaign for U.S. Senator to replace RINO Lamar Alexander. Tre Hagerty, a Haslam lap-dog and also running for Alexander’s seat, regardless of who wins, makes it a win, win situation for the deep state. Those who believe Tennessee rid itself of crooked ties when Bill Lee was elected governor, became lost in the smoke and mirrors orchestrated by the deep state in Tennessee.

      • Craig says:

        Jim Haslam (father) co-chaired Trump’s fundraiser in Nashville on October 7. Anyone willing to donate $100,000 is most likely a HUGE supporter. Bill Hagerty is running for US Senate. I’m not familiar with Tre Hagerty. According to your standards, wealthy people are crooked by default. Bill Lee is a good man. Everything isn’t a conspiracy, but “deep state” is a rather cool designation. Lol

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