8 former, current Pilot employees indicted in alleged rebate scheme
KNOXVILLE (WBIR) -
The former president of Pilot Flying J faces federal indictment on a charge of witness tampering in connection with a fuel rebate scheme that authorities say bilked trucking company customers of millions.
Mark Hazelwood's attorney, Rusty Hardin, confirmed his client's indictment Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
Sources told 10News on Tuesday that a total of eight people with ties to Pilot were expected to be indicted.
Sources also told 10News that Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam was not expected to be among the eight.
Hazelwood's indictment comes almost three years after dozens of FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided Pilot’s West Knoxville headquarters and several other nearby offices, seizing thousands of documents and copying computer hard drives.
Hazelwood was to appear before a federal magistrate for first appearance and arraignment.
Federal indictments previously returned allege Pilot employees since at least 2008 crafted a multimillion-dollar scheme to drive up profits, bump off the competition and increase commissions for its sales representatives and executives, according to federal documents.
Ten now former employees have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in the government's investigation.
FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents staged the raid on Pilot Flying J headquarters in West Knoxville in April 2013.
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